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Preach'd, and a 


Given at the 

Triennial Vifitation 


Diocefe of SALISBURY. 

By the Right J|everend_ Father in GOD, 
GILBER T, A LorcF fetoiop of SARVM. 


Printed for J. Churchill, at the Black Swan ir 
Pater-Kofter. Mdccxiy. 



PreachM at the 

Triennial Vifitation 


Diocese of Salisbury. 

Acts xx. Ver. 3a. 
And now, Brethren, 1 commend you to God, and 
to the Word of his Grace, which is able 
to build you up, and to give you an Inheri- 
tance among all them which arefan&tfied. 

THESE Words are a Part of St. PauPs 
Farewel,and lafr Speech tothofe of Epbe- 
fa : He reckoned that they were to fee 
his Face no fnore ; he forefaw by the 
Spirit of Prophecy, that after his Departure grie- 
vox* Wolves were to break in upon them, breath- 
ing out Cruelty and Perlecution, not fparhg the 
flock : This was accomplished firft in the violent 
As find 

A Sermon Preach' d 

and furious Oppofition that the Jadaifers, chiefly 
the Zealots among them, did raife againft the 
Doclrine preached by the Apoftles, in particular, 
the delivering the Gentiles from the Obligation to 
the A/<?/*/ra/Obfervances, but that was to be fol- 
lowed by a more dreadful and lafting Peffecu. 
tion, that was to come on them from the Hea- 
thens, who in a Succeflion of fome Ages, and by 
many repeated Cruelties, ftudied to extinguifh 
Chriftianity, fparing no Corner or Part of the 

With this he forefaw another more fubtile and 
more dangerous Mifchief that was to break our, 
when fome among themselves fliould arife and [peak 
ferverfe Things, and draw Difciples after them. This 
was fadly fulfilled in the corrupt Doctrines of thofe 
Hereticks, who diftrafred the Church, and both 
broached falfe and impious Tenets, and gave the 
Rife to many Schifms and Divifions that rent and 
tore the Body, which is and ought to be one, as it 
lias but one Head. St. Paul apprehending or fore- 
feeing thofe ill Confequences that were to follow 
foon after hisleaving them, provides for their. Se- 
curity againft thefe, and againft all other Evils. 
He commends them to God, or as the Word is more 
frri£tly, He prefents them to God, depofites them 
with him, and offers them to the Love and Mer- 
cies of him who governs all Things, and whofe 
Providence watches over all thofe who put them- 
felves under his Protection. But befides this Con- 
fidence he had in God, and in his Attributes, he 
more particularly committed them to the federal 
BJeffings that were fecured to them, by thofe 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 

Promifcs made them in the Gofpel, which God of 
his Grace and Goodnefs had revealed to them. 
This would be fufficient to raife them up to be 
holy Temples to God, and to maintain that Spiritual 
Building againft all the Oppofition and Shocks 
that they fhould meet with, either from the open 
Enemies, or the fecret Corrupters of this their 
moft holy Faith : It would alfo fecure to them an 
Admittance into the PoiTeflion of that Kingdom, 
of which by their fecond Birth they were made 
the Heirs. But that they might not deceive them- 
felves with imaginary Hopes that would fail them, 
he gives the certain Character of all thofe who- 
had a Right to look for a Share of that Inheri- 
tance ; it was not the affociating themfelves to the 
Body of Cbriftians, the profeuing the Do&rineSj 
or obferving the Rituals that were enjoined in 
this Religion, but their being truly Sanctified, their 
becoming holy, as he xvho called them wm holy, in all 
manner of Converfation. This is the only Thing 
that gives a Title to that Inheritance. The Words 
being thus opened, they lead us to meditate more 
particularly on thefe Ftve Things. 

I. That when we apprehend, either the open 
Violence, or the lecret Practices of the Ene* 
mies of our holy Faith, we ought to fly to, 
and depend on God, on his Attributes, and 
on his Afliftance and Providence. 

II. We ought more particularly totrufttothe 
Promifes that Chrift has given us in the 

1IL That 

A Sermon V reach" A 

III. That by thefe we fhall be built up, and 
eftablifhed as a holy Temple to God. 

IV. That from thefe we may reft alTured, we 
fhall have a Share in the Glory that fhall be 

V. That our Title, both to Protection, Support, 
and Reward, arifes from our being inwardly 
purified and fanclified, and not from outward 
Appearances or Privileges. To return. 

I. When we apprehend either the open Vio- 
lence, or the fecret Practices of the Enemies of 
our Holy Faith, we ought to fly to, and depend 
on God, on his Attributes, and on his Affiftance 
and Providence. If we call to Mind how many 
fad Inftances we fee in others, or feel in our felves, 
of the Feeblenefs of our Natures, how frail we 
perceive our felves to be ^ how foon we may be 
overcome, and how fubject we are to be deceiv'd* 
we will foon be convinced, that we have no Rea- 
Ton to truft to our felves, or to rely on our own 
Strength. We have mighty Adverfaries, ftrong 
and watchful, cunning as well as cruel, and in 
" us there is no Strength. The Love of Life lies 
deep in our Nature : Poverty and Imprifonments 
are of a hard Digeftion ; languifhing in Torture, 
and dreadful Burnings, are Things fo contrary to 
our Natures, that unlefs we are raifed above our 
felves, by a fuperiour Principle, that transforms 
and exalts us into a Participation of the Divine 
Nature, we fhall certainly faint in Day of Tryal. 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 

There are grievous Wolves who are now how- 
ling about us, and feem to be in full hope that 
they (hall have us quickly in their Power 5 and 
then we may be well aflured that they will not 
[fare the Flock. Where they prevail, they have 
many Eyes 5 for they have Spies every where : 
Looks, Words, and every Circumftance of Men, 
efpecially offufpe&ed Men's Behaviour, are watch- 
ed and reported with all invidious Aggravations : 
Thefe are readily believed, efpecially where there 
is a Profpecl: of Wealth to be got by deftroying 
the Owners. This is the Practice of thofe Wolves 
in Popery, where they have Strength enough to get 
every Thing put in the Power of a Court of In- 
quifition : And they reckon that their Work is 
never finifhed till that is eftablifhed ; with thefe 
there is no Mercy, and from them their is no Re- 
demption. We have been often as in the Lions 
Mouth., and as on the Horns of the Vnicorns t how 
near we are now to it, God only knows. They 
boaft in all Places beyond Sea, that we are quick- 
ly to fall into their Hands ; they do this with 
fuch bold Airs of Affurance, that they feem to 
have more than ordinary Grounds for fuch their 
Confidence. This certainly ought to tell us, That 
it is now high Time for us to awake out of Sleep, and 
to prepare us that we may refift even unto Bloody 
ftriving again/} Sin , and the Man of Sin. 

It is the Character of an abject Mind to fear 
where no Fear is, but it is the Character of a 
Man drunk even to Madnefs, to lie down in tlse 
midfl of the Sea, or to lie upon the Top of a Mafl : 
God grant we may fee our Danger in Time, and 

A Sermon Preach 7 d 

no be driven to that Apology and poor After-game 
of Fools, of faying, when all is utterly loft; Who 
could have thought it ? 

An open Perfecution has indeed a dreadful Face, 
but perhaps what comes after it in St. 'Paul's Dif- 
courieis no lefs formidable, that fome among them- 
felves fhould rife up and fpeak/w verfe Things:Thls > 
as St. Paul fpoke it, related to the Herefies and 
Schifms that were to rife in the Church, and that 
were to be managed with a perverfe Temper, by 
Men who were apt to lie in wait to deceive • How 
great a Plague this has been to the Chriftian 
Church, all who know any thing of its Hiftory 
muft be well acquainted with it. Some of thefe Er- 
rors have (truck at the Foundation of the Faith, the 
moftfacred Articles of our Faith : Othtrs have cor- 
rupted the Worfhip of God with a Mixture of Hea- 
theriifh Superftition and Idolatry : While to main- 
tain all their Corruptions, an Authority has been 
ufurpedover both the Ecclefiaftical and the Tem- 
poral Powers, and even over the Laws of God 
iiimfelf. To fupport all this, proper Baits have 
-been thrown out to draw many after them. 

The Libertines have a Relaxation of Morals, fo 
they will take it from their Confeffor, or buy it 
from the Pope : An outward Splendor and Pagean- 
try with pompous Proceffions, ferve to blind the 
unthinking Multitude; and incredible Swarms of 
Regulars every where, diftinguifhed in their vari- 
ous Orders, take the Word from their Generals, 
and hand it about among their Votaries. 

Thus we may in a large Senfe underftand what 
may be meant by fome among our/elves^ but I wifb> 

at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 

I heartily wifh, they may not be too well applied 
in a ftri£ter Senfe to fome Among our felves who 
[peak perverfe Things , who like the Donattfts of old, 
would confine Chriftianity it felf to be within 
their own Pale 5 as if none were 10 be reckoned 
baptized Chriftians, but thofe that are fo in the 
regular Way. By this a great Part, even of 
Popery is cut off, among whom Baptifm by Mid- 
wives is publickly authorised and commonly pra- 
ttifed : This was derived from them, and conni- 
ved at among us lor about half a Century. This 
cuts off at once all the foreign Proteftams from be- 
ing Chriftians ; befides, Multitudes among our 
felves, that were baptized a little above 50 Year 
ago. This will annul the Orders, and all Things 
done in Vertue of them, of many among us : And 
yet after all thefe Confequences, and in Contempt 
of the uninterrupted Senfe of the Church in all 
-Ages, a few only excepted, in the middle of the 
Third Century, this begins to be contended for 
with unufual Heat. The whole State of our Re- 
formation, and the Progrefs of it under the Au- 
thority of our Princes, is openly arraigned, and a 
pretended Independency of the Church on the 
State is boldly claimed, contrary to what was 
from the beginning of our Reformation, till with- 
in thefe very few Years, the conftant and unani- 
mous Do£lrine of our whole Church, without one 
fingle Exception to the contrary. The Sacrifice 
made in the Sacrament that is fo earneftly con- 
tended for, is either only a Queftion about Words, 
or it is plain, that the Sacrament as Celebrated 
among us, is no Sacrifice : Since we have none of 
B chofe 

i o /i Sermon Preach' d 

thofe Forms in cur Liturgy, pretended to be 
necefTary to the making it a Sacrifice. So if this 
is necefTary to the Perfection of the Eucharift, 
we have been now above a hundred and fifty 
Years without a com pleat Sacrament, under a De- 
fect, which fome think Eflential to the Being of 
a Sacrament, and by Confequence of a Church. 
The Neceflity of Confeflion and Abfolation arc 
pleaded for with much Heat, but I mult add with, 
very little Knowledge 5 for which as there is no 
Warrant in Scripture, nor in the firft Ages of the 
Church, 10 when it had crept in by Degrees, all 
the Fublick Difcipline of the Church was over- 
turned by it, and it is now the chief Engine of Ty- 
ranny, and the great Occafionof the Corruption of 
Morals in that Church that practices it. Thus we 
are going off from our eftablifhed Doctrine and 
Worfhip, while thofe who fow thefe Tares among 
us, fludy to draw Difciples after them 5 they take 
to themfelves the Name of the CHVRCH, they 
raife Animofities, they make Patties, and have 
kindled a moft unnatural War among us, which 
as it at prefent both divides and diffracts us 3 
to if it is not prevented by the good Providence of 
God, muff, end in utter Ruin and Deftructiop. 
What unkind Cenfures. and uncharitable Refle- 
ctions, what falfe Infinuations, and black Calum- 
nies, Men of this Spirit vent daily, is but too vi- 
fible ; and that not only againft their Brethren, bur 
a gain it thofe whom they call Fathers, yet they treat 
them as Enemies, who may well apply the flrfli 
Words of a Verfe of David's on thefe Occafions, 
and I hcpe they make no worfe ufe of it than he 


at the Violation of Salisbury. 1 1 

did, \s ho fa id, For my Love they are my Adititfaries.Yhlcix.v. 4. 
but J give wy [elf unto Prsytr. 

When we have fuch a Face of Things m View, 
what is to be done ? Shall we go out jo our 
Strength, Agitffft both the Power and the Ani 
of our Enemies ? Bfiafl we pntfflwe on our own 
Abilities, the Firmncis of cur cm n Minds, ort^e 
Fixednefs of our Refactions? We have bur too 
many and too fad Occafions, to know how little 
wc ccn depend on our felves. St. P.*/// here leads 
us to the Rack that ts higher than we are, as to a 
ftror.o Habitation to which we may always nfort: He 
commends thofe he fpeaksto,to God, the Great and 
Mighty God, who does what he will in Heaven 
and Earth, and who cannot abandon thofe that 
truft to him. He fees all Things, and is it poffi- 
b!e to think that there is a God, and yet to think 
that he can look on and fee any of his Creatures 
that call upon him, and that walk in their Integrity 
before him, engaged in Troubles and Difficulties, 
efpecially if they come upon them for their ad- 
hering to their Duty to him, and yet net watch 
over them for good ? Nor can we believe a Pro- 
vidence, and yet think that thofe who have the 
beft Claim to it, can be neglected or forfaken by 
it. when they are engaged in a hard Struggle for 
keeping a good Confcience : It is impoflible to be- 
lieve the Attributes and the Providence of God, 
and not to reft affured that he will never leave nor 
forjaie thofe who put their whole Truft and Confi- 
dence in him, and do not deliberately run into any 
Thing, that may juftly forfeit the Right they have 
to a Share, in a particular and diftinguifhing Care 
B 2 and 

12 ^ Sermon Preacfrd 

and Dire&ion : For if God has a general Care of 
his whole Creation, then certainly the beft Parts 
of it, and that upon the moft Critical Occafions, 
may expeft: a watchful Hand always ready to pro- 
tect and afTift them, either to diflipate their Fears, 
or to fortify them in the Hour of Tryal. This is 
that which we may rely on from the general Be- 
lief of the Attributes of God, and of his Provi- 
dence ^ therefore we ought to truft in the Lord, and 
to be doing good ; and thus committing our Way 
or Defigns to him, we may reft affured that he will 
bring it to pafs. 

Yet we are not to truft fo entirely to Providence 
as to be remifs, expecting Miraculous Interpofiti- 
ons 5 if at fome times Things have fallen out fo 
pfal. cxviii. Critically, that all Men did fay, This is the Lord's 
2 3- doing, yet we ought not to prefume on the Return 

of fuch extraordinary Events : But we muft fee 
what is our Duty, either in the way of doing or of 
fuffering, and that as well in our fecret Intercefli- 
ons at the Throne of Grace, as in our Publick 
Actings 5 ftill keeping within our Sphere and Sta- 
tion. If we purfue this diligently, and call on all 
within our Reach, and under our Care, to the 
fame Earneftnefs both in Private and Publick ; we 
may juftly afTure our felves, that either all thofe 
Clouds that do now gather and thicken, and feem 
ready todifchargethemfelves into Storms and Tern- 
pefts, and into dreadful Convulfions, (hall be quite 
diflipated ; and that a happy Calm fhall quiet all 
our Fears; or that God will fo order every Thing 
that concerns us, that we fhall be fupported in 
bearing any Share that may be afligned us, and that 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 1 3 

we fhall be fo fortified in the inner Man, that we 
fhall be in all Things more than Conquerors: Let us 
not therefore vainly truft to the Strength of our 
Minds, to the Degrees of our Knowledge, to the 
prefent Heat we may feel in our Tempers, or to 
the Zeal with which they may boil; allthefe may 
fail us in an Hour of Tryal : That which we ought 
to rely on, is when in an humble Miftruftof our- 
felves, we fhidy to work out our Salvation with fear 
And. trembling : Even while we ft and, taking heedleaft 
we fall, cafttng all our Care and Burden upon God. 

II. I go nextto the Second Head, which is. this, 
that though the general Belief of the Attributes and 
Providence of God, is a juft Ground of an allured 
Confidence, on which we may fafely rely, and to 
which we may commit ourfelves, as well as com- 
mend others $ yet we Chriftians have a more ex- 
plicit and authentical Affurance given us in the 
Gofpel 5 on which we may mod certainly depend : 
The Grace of God that brings Salvation hath appeared : Titus "• *• 
This Grace and Favour was declared by the Son of 
God, who was in all things like unto us, Sin only 
excepted : He, by his Death hath made Atone- 
ment for our Sins, and hath reconciled us to God 5 
he has eftablifhed a New Covenant upon better 
Promifes ; and is now our iMediator and Interceflbr 
with his Father, for obtaining to us all thole Aids 
that are necefTary for us : He has promifed more 
particularly, that our Prayers fhall be heard, and 
that he will do for us whatsoever we fh all ask the Father j hn xlv. 13, 
in his Name : that he wiWfend out his Spirit to dwell 16, 26, 27. 
in us t and to abide with us, to guide us and to comfort 

us : 

14. ^3? Sermon Preacfrd 

us: He hath left his Peace or Reconciliation to us, 
upon which he tells us all, in the Perfons of his Di- 
fciples, let not your he ay t he troubled, neither be ye 
afraid : He bids us ask what rve will, provided we abide 
in him and it [bailie done unto us. He has aflured 
Joh. xvi. 27, us, that the Father him 'elf Icvcth us if we love the 
33< Son, and believe that he ci;ne out from God. Thefe 

Things he faid to his Difciples. concluding he had 
(aid all this, that in him we might have Peace; in 
the World we (I). ill have Tribulation, but he encou- 
rages us with this, that he had overcome the World. 
And in his laft Prayer to his Father, after that he 
had made all thefe Promifes, he prays his Holy 
Father that he would keep through bu own Name, or 
Jdh.xvit. 11, Authority, thofe whom he had given him, that they 
*5j x 7« might be one, as the Father and he were one ; not that 

he would take them out of the World, but that he would 
keep them from the Evil, andfanttifle them by hit Truth, 
for his Word was Truth. This Word, or thefe Pro- 
mifes are true, made by him who was true, and we 
are in him who was the Way, the Truth, and the 

Why do we call our felves Chriftians, if we do 
not believe thofe Promifes that Chrift made in fo 
folemn a manner, when he was upon the Point of 
leaving his Difciples, and of Sealing all that he had 3« thus promifed with his Blood ?The Blood of the Ever- 
lafling Covenant that is prfe.fl, well ordered in all 
Things and fure. This is the Word of God's Grace, 
of his Favour to Mankind, to which St. Paul ^ com- 
mends thofe he fpeaks to. If we fet a true Value 
on the Words of the Son of God, and confider them 
as the Foundations of cur Faith and hope, we will 


ifxtation of Salisbury. 

jm fr, a eorf] we will lay them up in our 
Hearts and n 1 Kate s uch on them. It is on 
thefe Promifes that we have a Right totruft to God, 
to call on him, and always ro depend on this, that 
our Prapers-are heard, and fhall in due time be an- 
'. : We are not at all times to expe£t that the 
■ !ar Petitions we nTer i:p fhall be granted: 
When Ik. Jdnatt and St. Peter were both imprifon- 
ed, no doubt the Churches prayed (o: both ; but St. 
Peter was delivered, while Sr, James received his 
Crown. Gcd was glorified in both ; fo we mull 
not reckon that the particulars for which we pray,, 
fhould be always granted in our Way. God knows 
beft how he is to be glorified, whether in the Ser- 
vices or in the Sufferings of his Saints : And in this 
his own Glory, and the Good of his Church, in 
which it is impoflible for him to be miftaken, will 
be taken care of in the propereft Methods and at 
the fittefttime. If then we believe that the Son 
of God proved his Million from the Father, by 
the many undeniable Miracles that were wrought 
by him, and above all by his Refurreftion, his AC- 
cenfion, and the Sending of the Holy Ghoft ; and 
1? we believe that it isimpolTible for God, or for 
one that fpeaks in his Name to lie : We mult be- 
lieve that all the Promifes that he *made fhail be 
mod certainly performed, 

It is the common Practice of Deceivers to throw 
out fuch Promifes as may draw many Followers 
about them : But we cannot without the utmofr. 
Folly, as well as Impiety, iufpecl in this Cafe any 
Thing of that Nature. Chrift told h;a Difciples 
that they mud- take up their Crofs, and be ready to 


i£ ^Sermont Preach' d 

hfe their Lives for his Sake, fo here was no Pra&ice 
on their Hopes : This on the contrary was the rea- 
died Way to difcourage and frighten them. This 
has alfo been the Portion of his Followers on ma- 
ny Occafions ; but at the fame time that they were 
made Partakers of his Sufferings, his Spirit called 

e Pet. iv. 14. the Spirit of Glory did re/} on them, in fo eminent a 
manner, that inltead of being terrified with fo dif- 
mal a Profpect, they rejoiced and gloried in this, 
That they were thought worthy to fujfer for his Name : 
And in all their Sufferings they were more than Con- 

2 Cor. 1. 5. querors, for as the Sufferings of Chrift abounded in 
them, fo their Confolation did alfo abound by Chrift. 
It is therefore to him that we ought to commit 
all our Anxieties about thofe Truths which he re- 
vealed to the World, for in the preferving of thefe 
his Glory is immediately concerned. He knows 
whether the true Intereft and beft State of Reli- 
gion is moft advanced, by outward Profperity, and 
the Protection of Law, by our living in Eafe and 
Plenty, in a Fulnefs of Bread, and of the Secular 
Advantages that do now abound with us 5 or whe- 
ther the true Ends of Religion will not be better 
advanced, as they were in the fiift Ages of Chri- 
fiianity, while the Gofpel was under the Crofs, 
while Bifhops were the firft expofed to be Sacrifi- 
ces to the Fury of their Perfecutors, and the Chri- 

Hsb. xi. 28. ftians were forced to wander in Defer ts and Moun- 
tains, and in Dens and Caves of the Earth. It ap- 
peared then as it had done of old, that they were 
the Men of whom the World was not worthy. The 
Truth of it is, our Religion is fo funk from what 
it was, and what it frill ought to be, that we feem 


at the Vijitation of Salisbury. 1 7 

to have little more than the outward Form of it left: 
So that tfao' we have a Name that we live, we are 
for the much greater Part really dead. He who 
purchafed the Church with his own Blood, knows 
beft what are the mod proper Methods to defend 
and improve it; to raife again the Spirit of true 
Religion, that is under fuch vifible Decays, that 
fcarce any Thing remains but a Mask and Shew, 
and that is fo ill put on, that it cannot in any Sort 
difguife thofe, who live in open and avowed Im- 
moralities of the worfl: Sort. In many others, all 
the Life or Heat that appears in them, is in their 
bitter Zeal, in cenforious Detraction, and in all 
the Excefles of Faction and Uncharitablenefs. 
While we are in fo bad a State, infenfible to all 
the ordinary Methods of Providence, neither 
wrought on by Bleflings and Deliverances, nor 
awakened by threatening Appearances, going on 
in our Irreligion and Impieties, who knows but 
the Sentence fhall be, cut it down why cumbereth it Luke ariii. j, 
the Ground any longer ? I will come and remove the Rev. ii. 5. 
Candlejlick out of its Place, or whither he will caft 
us into great Tribulation , and kill our Children with Vt 22 .2>. 
Death : So that all the Churches foall know, that he 
fearches the Reins and Hearts, and will render to every 
Man according to his Works. Or if he will in Mer- 
cy to us, make thofe of the Synagogue of Satan, Rev.iii.9,1^ 
who fay they are the only true Chrillians, but are nut 
and do lie, to come and worjhip before our Feet, fo 
that it (hall appear that he has loved us, and that 
he will keep us from the flour of Temptation, which 
is to come on fo many Parts of the World $0 try them 
that Mtllonihe Earth. 

C Which 

i8 ^ Sermon Preacfrd 

Which of all thefe is to be our Sentence, can 
only be known to God $ the firft is the dreadful- 
left, as the laft is the happieft of all : May we be 
delivered from the one, and if it be his holy Will, 
have a Share in the other. For we may humbly 
hope, that tho' we have but a little Strength, take 
it either inwardly or outwardly, yet fincc we have 
Rev. iii. 8. k e pt k( S Word and have not denied his 1\ J ame % but 
maintain and outwardly profefs the true Religion, 
that therefore God will through the Interceflion of 
Chrift, preferve us from falling under the Power of 
thofe Corrupters of his holy Religion, and thePer- 
fecutors of thofe who adhere to it. 

III. To go on to my next Head, this Word, that 
is, this Gofpel is able to build us up. This is faid in 
purfuance of a Simily taken from the Temple of 
Jerufalem, and applied by St. Paul to the Church 
in a noble Allegory, in which a Church is fet forth 
as laid on the Foundation of Jefm Chrift, the true 
Rock on whom only it is built ; but by feveral 
Builders, and in different Manners, fome rearing 
1C0r.iii.12. up a Temple of Gold and Silver and precious Stones, 
not Gems, for that were an abfurd Figure, but 
Stones of Value, of Marble, large and well poli- 
fhed, like the Temple at Jerufa'fem, in which the 
Holy Place, and the holieft of all was covered with- 
in with Gold : By this is fignified the raifinga no- 
ble Superftru&ure, upon the Belief and Principles 
of Chriftianity, of a pure Worfbip, excellent Mo- 
rals, and a well compacted, and duly regulated 
Government ; Such a Church fa raifed up cannot 
furTer much by the Fire of Perfecution. It has a 
Firmnefs in it k\i t and a refilling Force, not eafily 


at the Vifi tation of Salisbury. i p 

mattered even by fuch Burnings; whereas a Church 
built indeed upon the fame Foundation, but raifed 
up, as thofe are which we call Paper-buildings, of 
Wood and Hay, and of Stubble cemented toge- 
ther, that is of fuperftitious Practices, doubtful 
Opinions, with other weak Performances, feebly 
managed with little Order and lefs Union ^ all this 
Will be foon burnt down s Thefe Things have 
no Strength to refift the Fire, no Force to keep 
themfelves united 5 fo that Edifice and all thofe 
Things fuch Builders are concerned about, fnall 
give them no Comfort in the evil Day : They will 
Hnd no Pleafure in reflecting on all that Earneft- 
nefs, with which they were advancing thofe in- 
considerable Matters, h will minifter no Joy nor 
Allay of Trouble to them, when they remember 
how eagerly they purfued them. There is yet 
frill this Comfort, that the fincere but miflead 
Chriitians, tho' they will fee all their Works in 
which they were fo much engaged fall to nothing ; 
yet fince they have adhered to the Foundation, tbe 
Eflentials of Chriftianity, they themfelves fhall 
be faved, even when they fee how trilling all thefe 
Things were on which they beftowed their Zeal. 
On the other Hand, in the Time of Perfecution, 
thofe who have been rearing up a folid and laft- 
ing Building, will find the Comfort of all their 
Labours flowing in plentifully on them : Whereas 
thofe who have been labouring about Things of 
little or no Confequence, will have but melancholy 
Reflections on all that in which they have fo 
much bufied themfelves. 

If we confider the Gofpel, as it is indeed the 

Power of God unto Salvation, and follow the Rules 

C 2 laid 

20 ^ Sermon VreacVd 

laid down in it, we fhall be built up by it, all be- 
Ephef.H. 21, \ng f oft ly framed t ogether, fo that tve fhall grorv up to 
22 • be a holy Temple to the Lord, and a Habitation to 

God thro 1 the Spirit. We may confider this in a 
double View, either as it relates to the inward 
State of Things in the Church, or with Relation 
to it's external Strength and Security. 

As long as the Converts to Chriftianity kept 
themfelveson the Foundations laid by the Apoftles 
and Prophets, adhering firmly to the Scriptures, 
as the only Rule of their Faith, fo long as they re- 
tained their firft Strength, as well as their firft 
Purity : And that we find Copioufly fet forth in 
the firft Writers, who on all Occafions appealed 
only to the Scriptures. If at any time they fpeak 
of Tradition, it is plain they meant of no other 
Tradition, than that which the Apoftles had fo 
lately delivered : Irentus, cited oft to fupport the 
more modern Notion of Tradition, tho' at all this 
Diftance from the Days of the Apoftles, knew Po- 
ticarp a Difciple of St. John's, ordained by him 
Bifhop of Smyrna. And to the fame Purpofe Ter* 
tullian fpeaks of the Original of the Churches, 
down from the Days of the Apoftles : But all 
Queft ions raifed in the Church, were then examin- 
ed and determined only by the Scriptures. It is 
true, Alexandria being a Seat of Learning, fome 
there began to intermix the Notions that they 
found in the Greek Philofophers, with the Doctrines 
of Chriftianity • and htvzvain Phtlofophy came to 
have a fatal Progrefs, to the great Diftra&ion of 
the Church. Many departed from the Simplicity 
of the Scriptures, borrowing Light from darkened 
Writers, by which a real Darknefs, though under 


at the Vifitatiw of Salisbury. 2 r 

the Pretence of illuftrating Matters, was brought 
into the Church. Then the Authority of Men 
came to be too much magnified, and infenfibly iri 
a long Succeffion of fome dark Ages, Notions, 
Traditions, and human Authorities, came to be 
confidered as equal to the only Divine Authority of 
the Scriptures : And then Matters were fo invol- 
ved, that it is hard to tell, whether the falfe Sub- 
tilties of the Subjects treated of, or the Barbari- 
ties of Stile in which they are fet forth are the 
mod diftaftful. The Scriptures were confidered as 
Allegorical Writings, and Rituals were invented' 
full of Myftery, Legends were forged in fo grofs 
a manner, as very much to expofe the Ages in 
which fuch Things could pafs, even on the lowed 
of Mankind. Thus was Chriftianity disfigured, 
and reprefented as hideous and monftrous. 

God be thanked, the Reformation came at laft 
to reftore Chriftianity to what it was at firft : To 
make the Scriptures the Text of our Faith, and' 
the Apoftles the only Perfons, who by an Autho- 
rity derived from Chrift, delivered this Doclrine 
to the World : By applying our felves to the Study. 
of this facred Book, we can only be built up in our 
holy Faith, The considering it in its Original Lan- 
guage, the obfervingthePhrafiology of it, compa- 
ring all the Parts of it together, the reading it fre- 
quently, and the carrying great Parcels of it in our 
Memory is that which will make us who are Pa- 
ftors, to be able Mimfters of the new Teftament y 2 Cor. iii. 6, 
throughly furntfljed unto all good Works : as the inftru- 
fting you from your Childhood to know the //o^2Ti m .iii.j 53 
Sctiptures, will make you tv/fe unto Salvation, they l6 - 
being ail given by Divine injfimion, and all are profi- 

22 ^Sermon PreacFd 

table for DoBrine, Reproof, Cor reft ion and In fir action 
in Right eoufnefs. The Neglect of this Study is that, 
to which the great Decay of Religion among us is 
chiefly owing. There is an Unction as well as an 
Authority in thofeholy Writings which carries an 
Efficacy with it, and leaves an Impreflion onthofe 
who comeduly prepared to read them, both inPoints 
of Doctrine and Matters of Practice. 

The wonderful Application of the Jew; to under- 
fland and remember the darken; Part of our Bible, 
fhould make us Chriftians afhamed to be fo carelefs 
about thofe Parts of it that are much fhorter, as well 
as much clearer. The Reformation did rife among 
us with the reading of the Gofpel, from whence our 
firft Reformers were called Gofpelers, as it is fink- 
ing by the Neglect of it, even among the Men of 
Study, too many leaving thofe pure Streams to 
fearch into muddy ones. The Recovery ofthisStudy, 
and the following it carefully both in Principle and 
Practice, is that which mull build us up, as bring 
the new jerufdem down from Heaven, and in Conclu- 
fion it will carry us up thither again. 

But as this is that which muft build us up, as to 
the Inwards and Effentials of our Religion, either 
as we are Tingle Individuals, or as we area Body 
united in the Belief of it ;fo this is that from which 
we may expect the external Security of it. 

It pleafed God as he made the Author of it per- 
fect thro' Sufferings, fo to make his Apoftles in that 
to be Followers of him, who were every where per- 
fected, afflicted, and tormented : But they had fuch a 
fuperiour Meafure of Strength, as even to take Plea- 
fure in Perfections and Diftreffes. It is true, in regard 
-to the Weaknefs of the flrft Converts, they had ma- 

at theVifitation of Salisbury. 23 

ny Intervals of Quiet,fo that the number of theDif- 
ciples multiplies greatly in Jerufalem, and a great 
Company of the Pr lefts were obedient to the faith . St.Ste- A&s vi. 7. 
phenwas indeed ftoned,and St. James was killed by 
the Sword, but upon that the Gofpel was received 
with great Joy in Samaria • and upon St. Pauls Con- .,. 
verfion, the Churches had Reft thro' all Judeafi alike Aa . s s \x.' 3U ' 
and Samaria. For a whole Tear they ajfemb led them- Aftsxi. 26. 
/e/iw without Disturbance mAntioch: The Jfiw 
indeed, being all allarmed at the Progrefs that this 
Doclrine made, ftirred up a Perfecution againft it 
every where, wherefoever they had any Influence, 
in which they perfifted, till they had filled up the 
Mealure of their Iniquities, fo that at laft the 
Wrath of God came upon them to the uttermoft : 
With that the Chnltians were delivered from their 
fierceft Enemies. It was an Honour to this Religi- 
on, that the two word of Men as well as of Princes, 
Nero and Domitian, were their firft Perfecutors 
among ihe Roman- Emperors, Chriftians patted for 
a St. ft of the Jews. And Trajan s Wars with the Jews, 
were probably the Caufe of that Perfecution in his 
Time, that gave Occafion to that noble Teftimony 
that Plmy gives of the Chriftians, who were in the 
Provinces that were in his Proconsulate, 

After that, they had a long Peace for above a 
hundred Years : In which time this Religion was 
not only received, but fettled and brought into 
Form and Order, thro 1 the greateft Part of the Ro- 
man Empire : but this long Peace had its bad as 
well as its good Effects. Herefies and Schifms di- 
ftra&ed the Churches, their Difcipline wasflackned, 
and they loft more in the Corruption of their Mo- 
rals,than they had gained in their Settlement : So it 


2/\. ./^Sermon Preach" d 

pleafed God to vifit them feverely, in a Courfe o 
feveral Profecutions that came pretty quick one af- 
ter another, till after the laft, the rnoft violent and 
of the longed Continuance, God raifed up a nurfing 
Father to his.Church, in the Perfon of Con ft anting : 
under whom, after all that has been faid of him, it 
may be juftly doubted, whether the Chriftian Re- 
ligion gained more by the Protection and Encou- 
ragement that he gave it, than tt left in the real 
and internal Power, by which it had fhined out 
beautifully to the World during all the former 

Soon after this, a fecular, a contentious, and a fu- 
perftitious Spirit made a great Progrefs, and gives a 
melancholy View of the following Ages : As we 
find it much lamented by the beft Men in them. 
Things run in this Declination about a hundred 
Years, and then God arofe and fcourged his Church 
feverely, by the Incurfions of the barbarous Nati- 
ons, who ruined the Roman Empire and made 
Havock of every Thing: So that both Religion 
- and Learning fuffered extreamly in a Courfe of al- 
mofr. two Centuries ; and then in the yth Century, 
Mahomet came with an amazing Torrent of Succefs, 
that like a Deluge overflow'dall the Eastern Chur- 
ches. Religion then funk univerfally likewife in the 
Wejiern Parts. 

But upon the Ruins of Religion and Learning, 
thePapacj grew up tofuch a monftrous Heighth,that 
every thing which flood in its way fell before it. 
Courts otJnquifition, with Inventions of Cruelty, 
never k thought on before, feem'd to be a fure Guard : 
.But when their Corruptions grew to be fogrofs, and 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 25 

their Tyranny fo intolerable, that they could be no 
longer born ; it pleafed God to raife up Inftru- 
ments, who were in themfelves no way propor- 
tioned to the great Work done by them : By their 
Means the Reformation was received in molt 
Parts of Europe, Italy and Spain not excepted^ tho' 
the Inquifitors did foon root it out in thofe Parts. 
Unheard-of Severities were every where fet on 
Foot againft them, by the unwearied Manage- 
ment of the Popes, and the loud Clamours cf a Per- 
fecting Clergy ; yet where it was fo ieverely 
perfecuted, that as it is reckoned even by Grotitu> 
a Writer not given to aggravate Matters, not un- 
der an hundred thouland fuffered under thefe 
grievous Wolves in the Seventeen Provinces ; at laft 
their Perfecutors became fo outragiousand illegal, 
and the Numbers of the Reformed did foencreafe, 
both in thofe Provinces and in France, that a happy 
Turn fucceeded after all thofe Storms. 

We here in England felt a Share of what 
others fuffered, both much longer and in a greater 
Extremity. A King vain of his Learning, and 
impatient in his Temper, feemed refolved to ex- 
tirpate that which he called Herefj. But God in 
the Secrets of his Providence, did fo divert him 
into a Quarrel with the Pope, that the Perfecution 
was by that Means ftop'd : It is true, it broke out 
terribly in that bloody, but fhort and defpifed 
Reign of Queen Mary, whofe Days were fhorrened,- 
as we may believe, for the Elects Sake. That glo- 
rious gVEEN that fucceeded, fettled Matters of 
Religion at Home, and fupported them Abroad 
io Powerfully, that in many Places the Refor- 
D mation 

i6 ^ Sermon PreacfSd 

mation bad a full Settlement : But what has fol- 
lowed upon it? 

Now in a Courfe of above an 150 Years time, 
the Plenty we have enjoyed, and the Prote&ion 
we have lived under, has brought us to fuch a 
dead Stupidity, that the true Senfe of Religion is 
almoft extinguifhed, and the great EfFe&s of it, 
either in a holy Life, or in univerfal Charity, do 
appear in fo few Inftances, that Impiety and In- 
fidelity have made a vaft Progrefs. The heavy 
Strokes ih?t have come upon many Branches of 
the Reformation have not awakened the reft, no 
more than the Captivity of the Ten Tribes awake- 
ned thofe of Jadah and Benjamin. 

We were indeed very near great Troubles fix 
and twenty Years sgo; But we only faw them 
coming on us ; we were threatened with the utmoft 
Dangers, but we did not feel them enough to be 
feniible of them, and to remember them long. The 
Snare wasfo foon broken, and we efcaped fo eafily, 
that it is almoft worn out of our Thoughts : Since 
that Time we have been engaged in a long Tracl: 
of War, but though we have been ofcen near very 
great Dangers, yet they aU went over our Heads 
in fuch a manner, that few then made juft Refle^ 
cYions on them, and fewer dofeem now to remem- 
ber rhem. We have enjoyed great Plenty at Home, 
and have had the moll glorious SuecefTes Abroad 
that are in Hiftory 5 but how ingratefully we have 
behaved our felves, both towards God and .Van* 
Ifaiahiv. «;. is but too vifible. Over all our Glory there has hen 
a Defence, but how long that (hall be continued 
about us, is juftly very doubtful. Who knows but 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 27 

the Impiety, the Immorality, the Infenfibility as 
to the Matters of Religion, under which we Feem 
tobs ftupified and hardened beyond the reach of 
all ordinary Methods, may provoke God to remove 
the Secular Advantages and Protection that we 
enjoy ,and vitit us with a Famine of the hearing of the 
Word of the Lcrd, and let Icofe upon us fuch judg- 
ments as deftroyed the Jew/Jb Nation of old, th.e 
Roman Empire fome Ages after that, and i'o many 
of the Reformed Churches in our own Days. 

There is a dreadful Denunciation in Ezekiel ; 
fomewhat like it, is that wc may juftly apprehend, 
As for the Beauty of his Ornaments he jet it in Maje- Ezek.vif.20 
fly (this relates to the Magnificence of their Tem- 21,22. 
pie and the Service in it, to which the Beauty and 
Decency of our Worfhip may be well compared) 
But they made the Images of their Abominations 
andof their deteflable Things therein , therefore have I 
fet it far from theM : And twill' give it unto the hands 
of Strangers for a Prey, and to the Wicked oj the Earth 
for a Spoil, and the) fjjall pollute it : My Face will I 
turn alfo from them. t and they fljall pollute my fecret 
Place (the Holy of Holies) for the Robber sfhall enter 
in:o it and defile it : When fuch Calamities come 
to have their due Eftecl on us, then we may hope 
that the time to favour us, even the fet time ffj. .til come -, 
and that God Will-appear in his Glory to build us 

IV. I proceed' now to the ^th Head, which is, 

That tho' the Secrets of God's Providence mult be 

fhll myfterious to us; fo whether God defigns to 

let us become heaps and ruins, or will raife us up to 

D 2 be 

23 ^ Sermon Preached 

be a Palace and a de fenced City, is that which 
is only known to him 5 yet we have an A(Tu- 
rance from the Word of his Grace, of a Share in 
that Inheritance of the Saints in Light , we are now 
made Heirs and Joint- Heirs with Chri(l, he has 
pro mi fed, That becaufe he lives we fljall live alfo\ 
and that as he purchafed a Kingdom for us by his 
johnxiv.2. Blood, fo he is gone before us to prepare a Place in 
it for us \ that is, to mark out Degrees of Glory, 
which are proportioned to fuch Services and Suf- 
ferings as he calls us to for his Names fake : He 
Pfal.56, 8. counts all our wanderings-^ all the melancholy Steps 
that we tread in this our fojourning, and all the 
Tears that at any timedrop from us, are accord- 
ing to a Phrafe borrowed from the Lachrymals 
ufed in that Time, laid to he put in his Bottle, every 
Thing we do, either to advance God's Glory, or 
for the Good of others, even to a Cup of cold 
Water y fhall be brought into the Reckoning and 
put to our Account : And al-together (hall work 
for us a more exceeding (by a Hyper holy upon 
Hyperholy, as the Words are in the Original) 
aCcr.iv. 17- an d Eternal Weight of Glory 5 we fhall then en- 
joy, not only what far exceeds all that the Eye 
hathfeen, or the Ear hath heard, but all that the 
Heart of Man, in all the Compafsof Imagination, 
or Extent of Defire can conceive. Our Bodies fhall 
fhine as the Sun in the Kingdom of our Father 5 
being delivered from all the Clogs of Want, Pain, 
or Sicknefs, from all the Labours of Life, from all 
the Drudgery to Sin or Appetite, from all Temp, 
tations, either from without, or from within us, 
and from all that is weak, mean, corruptible or 


at the Vtjitation of Salisbury. 29 

mortal in us, and we fhall be in the Refurre&ion 
like unto the Angels of God, or to a greater than 
-Angels, even the Son of God. himfelf, into rvhofe 
Ltkenefs thefe our vile Bodies JJjall be transformed ; we 
fhall fee God Face to Face, with foprefent and (6 
bright a View, as we have of thofe we now converfe 
with. We now fee him, in his Works, in his Word, 
and in the Face of his dear Son, but we fhall then 
fee him as he is, in as comprehensive a Light, as 
finite and limited Underflandings are capable of. 
We fhall then underhand his Attributes, the Extent 
and Defign of Creation and Providence : All thofe 
inextricable Difficulties which do now perplex the 
beft Underflandings, fhall then be clearly appre- 
hended by us: We fhall be made like unto him, 
perfectly pure, full of univerfal Love and Good- 
nefs, loving and beloved by all the Hofts above : 
Even the Innumerable Company of Angels \ with the Heb. xii. 22, 
Spirits of jufl Men made Perfett, who compote that 2 ^' 
General Jjfemblj and Church oftheFirfl-bcrn.We fhall 
fee, and be ever with the Lord, who purchafed all 
this for us, and whofe Love to us we fhall then more 
diftin&ly apprehend, and more perfectly love,in re- 
turn for the Love wherewith he loved us, and pro- 
cured all this to us. We fhall then be raifed up to 
all the poflible Tranfports of Joy, and be eternally 
poffelled with fuch a Senfe of the Majefty, Glor 
ry and Goodnefs of God, that we fhall be ever 
adoring and praifmg him with the molt elevated 
Acts, that our Natures then advanced to the ut- 
moft Poflibilities of Perfection fhall be capable of; 
and we fhall fee that the bleffed State into which 
we are then brought fhall never end, but fhall iaft 


30 ^Sermon T reached 

for ever : Here : is a fhort View of what the Gof- 
pel, the Word of God's Grace, cloth both propofe 
and promife to us. 

V. I come in the laft place, tofet forth the Cha- 
racter ofthofe who have a Right to this Inheri- 
tance ; all thofe who are fantftfird. That being a 
State of the utmoilpoffibility of the Exaltation and 
Sanftificationof our Natures, and it being propo- 
fed as the Reward of our Services and Sufferings 
here, we cannot have any Profpecl of attaining it, 
unlets we employ our Faculties in the bell manner 
we can, to arrive at fome real degrees of that Ho- 
-lincfs, by which we do both refcmble God, who 
iseffentially holy, and Chi id who was holy in all 
Pet. i. 15. manner of Conversation, We pafs through this Life, 
as through a State of Probation, in which we may 
attain to fome meafure of that, in which we (hail 
then be made perfect. All great Ends are com- 
pafled by Means fuitable to them ; for as fuch as 
corrupt their Natures, and vitiate their Faculties, 
run themfelves into a State of Darknefs and Depra- 
vation, which mult carry them" to a Blacknefs of 
Darknefs, and Everlafting Deftru&ion 5 fo thofe 
who do now purine themfelves as he is pure, (hall be 
then made perfectly pure, when all thofe Defecls 
that do now hang about them (hall be done away : 
It is therefore fo certain, that without true holinefs 
mfbdl never fine the Lord, that it is not necelTiry to 
fay any thing more to make out fo plain a Point. 

It is more neceffary to give fuch a Defcription of 
thofe who are janttified, that none may deceive 
themfelves with wrong Notions and falfe Appea- 
rances : 

at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 31 

ances : It is not only the managing one's outward 
Behaviour,fo that every thing in that may look well 
and be decent: This is indeed neceirary, butthis 
may be a Thing put on for a while, as a Mask on 
Defign, or it may be a piece of natural Modefty, 
or o\ Prudence. It is not only an upright Sincerity 
in our Dealings tho' that is highly valuable, that 
makes up the Character. It is not barely Tempe- 
rance and Sobriety, and the avoiding all the Ex- 
cefles of Riot, that will put us among thofe that 
are Santfified : It is not only the having found Prin- 
ciples and good Opinions in Religion, nor the be- 
ing Regular in the Publick Wcrfhip ofGod, much 
Ids the being fullen and morofetowards all others, 
who think not as wc do with Relation to it in thofe 
Matters, that will compleat the Character ; nay 
nor the obferving fuch Praclice* in our fcoet De- 
votion, as were brought on us by a good Educa- 
tion, and which we are not yet bad enough to 
throw them quite up, that being all put together 
make a Perfon truly Sarrfiified. 

To bring this Matter into a fhort Compafs, a 
Man who is truly SnnElified, is one who being 
convinced of the Truth of the Ghriftian Religion, 
ftudies carefully t^ofe facred Writings in which it 
is contained, reads them diligently, and meditates* 
much on them : Upon theft he fettles into folid 
Principles of a Univsrfii Scheme of his whole Life, 
both in the private and publick Parts of it, in his 
Family and Neighbourhood, in his Calling ancf 
Station, and even in his Diverfions and Recreati- 
ons, that he may in every Part of his Life anfwer 
his Profeflion, and live up to the Rules prefcribed 

g2 i Sermon Preach" d 

in it. This he follows in a clofe and conftant At- 
tention to his Thoughrs, Words, and Actions: In 
order to this he prays eai neftly to God for Afli- 
ftance and Direction, and calls himfelf often to a 
ftricl Account of ail he does, as in the Prefence 
of God. He does not allow himfelffo much as the 
bare Speculation of any Sin with Pleafure : He is 
bumbled before God, and begs Pardon if his 
Thoughts have wandered into the Love of any Sin, 
much more if thefe have broke out into finfut 
Words or Aclions : He does not diftinguifli be- 
tween the feveral Sorts of Sin, as if lie might in- 
dulge himfelf in any of them by reafon of Inte- 
reft or Inclination, or as if he might buy out a 
Licence for fome Sins by an over- doing in other 
Matters : But he ftudies to keep all God's Com- 
mandments, obeying fome indeed as the more im- 
portant, with more Zeal, but leaving none undone. 
He purities this thro' the whole Courfe of his Life, 
and does not imagine, that by fome more than or- 
dinary Devotion at fome times, perhaps on the Eve 
of a Sacrament Day, he can purchafe Leave to re- 
turn back to thofe Sins that he feemsonly to for- 
fake for a Seafon ; like a Drunkard who is fober 
under a Courfe of Phyikk, only on Defign to be 
capable of returning it to more Excefles that way. 
He Mill purfuesthe SanBifing the whole Man in all 
manner of Converfation, nor is he fatisfied with 
low Degrees of Sanftificaiion, but is ever endea- 
vouring to cleanfe himfelf more and more, from ail 
Fikhinefs both of Fleflj and Spirit, and toperfefi Ho- 
linefs in the Fear of God. 


at the Vifxtation (^Salisbury. 33 

His Saviour is his Pattern, and he is often ob- 
ferving how defective he is in his Conformity to 
him, that fo he may be humbled under it, and may 
ftill prefs forward towards that Mark of being 
made a Partaker of the Divine Nature. 

Here are then the Chara&ers of all thofe that art 
San&ified 5 happy they who feel thefe truly begun, 
and fincerely carried on within them. In thefe 
they have their Title to the Inheritance of the 
Saints in Light : Thefe are the true Steps that 
lead to it, as it is the certain Reward of all thofc 
that walk in them. 

GOD Grant we all may feel, that we may have 
thofe Earnefls of that Inheritance in us ^for 
then in due Time we fball attain the Pojjef. 
Jion of it : Which God of his Infinite Mer- 
cy grant us, thro' Jefus thrift our Lord, to 
whom with the Father and the Holy Ghoft y 
be all Honour and Glory, both now and fir 
ever. Amen. 


A C 



Given at the 

Triennial Vifitation 

O F T H E 

Diocese of SALISBURY 
In the Year 17 14. 

E s 




Given at the 

Triennial Vifitation 


Diocefe of Salisbury, Sec 

My Reverend and Dear Brethren } 

WHEN I firft vifited my Diocefe, five and 
twenty Years ago, as I preached round the 
whole Circuit of the Diocefe ; fo I chofe 
the mod proper Texts that I could think of, to fet 
before myfelf, as well as my Brethren, the Pa- 
ftoral Duty in the beft Light in which I could put it, I 
will now recite to you all thofe Texts, hoping that 
you will carry them in your Memory, and meditate 
on them ; and I am confident this will have a very good 
Effeft en you j I fet them down in the Order in which 
they lie in the New Teftament. 

A.&S ch. XX. ver. 28. Take heed therefore unto jour [elves , 
and to all the Flock over which the Holy Ghofi bath made you 


A Charge given 

Overfeers (or Biftiops) to feed the Church ■which he hath pur- 
chajed with his own Bloods 

i Cor. iii. 9. For we are Labourers together with God : (or 
fellow-Labourers for God) ye are God's Husbandry , ye are 
God's Building. 

2 Cor. v. 10. Now then we are Ambaffadours for Chrift, 
as tho God did btfeech you by us, we fray you in Chrijl {lead, 
be ye reconciled to God. 

Coll. i. 28. Whom we preach , warning every Man, and 
teaching every Man in all wifdom, that we may prefcnt every 
Man perfect in Chrifi Jefus. 

1 Theft, ii. 10 , 11. Ye are witneffes, and Godalfo, how 
holily, andjuftly, and unblameably, we behaved our felves 
among you that believe. 

As you know, how we exhorted and comforted, and char- 
ged every one of you, as a Father doth his Children. 

1 Tim. iv. if, 16. Meditate upon thefe things, give thy- 
felf wholly to them ; that thy profiting may appear. 

Take heed unto thy felf, and to the Doclrine : continue In 
them, for in doing this, thou fimlt bothfave thy felf, and them 
that hear thee. 

2 Tim. ii. 24, 25". And the Servant of the Lord mufi not 
firive, but be gentle unto all men ; apt to teach, patient, in 
tneeknefs infirucling thofe that oppofe themfelves, if ' per adven- 
ture God will give them Repentance, to the acknowledging of 
the Truth. 

1 Pet. v. 23. Feed the Flock of God which is among you 
(or as much as lies in you) taking the overfight thereof not 
by confvraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a 
ready mind. Neither as being Lords over God's Heritage, 
(or not over- ruling your Shares or Lots) but being Ex- 
amples to the Flock ; and when the chief Shepherd jhall appear, 
ye jball receive a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away. 

In thefe, you will find the main Lines of your Du- 
ty, both as to your private Deportment and your La- 
bours j But now fince, perhaps, this may be the lad 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. gp 

Time that I may fee you in this manner, and that 
both the Age I have arrived at, and other Circum- 
ftances, call upon me to confider the Account, that I, 
as well as you, muft give we know not how Coon, of 
the Miniftry that -we have received of the Lord Jeffs, I could 
find no part of the Scripture fo proper to guide myfelf, 
and to lead you into the right Method of feeing how we 
ought to make up our Accounts, as this laft Difcourfe 
of St. Paul to thofe of Ephefus ; in which we find him 
full of the Apprehenfions of what was to befal him at 
Jerufalem. Thefe led him to reflecl: on all that had paft 
in thole his Labours, in which he may be well fet up 
by us, as the perfedeft Pattern next to him who did 
no Si». In this View we will find matter, both of Hu- 
miliation and of Encouragement j we will fee Caufe 
to be humbled, when we find how defective we have 
been ; but at the fame time to be encouraged, if we, 
upon a fti ; & Search, find that we have in fome fort, 
though at a great diftance, fludied to imitate fo bright 
an Example. 

Ver. 1 8. St. Paul begins with an Appeal to what they 
knew, after what manner he had been amnng them from the 
time he camefirfi into Afia 3 and that at allSeafons. 

The Sea font might have required fome Diverfity in 
his Deportment ; but it was all governed by proper 
Rules fuiced to every occafion. This calls on us to re- 
flecl: on the vifible Parts of our whole Behaviour in 
the different Scenes of Life. Have we been ferious 
and folemn in the publick Worfhip of God ? Have we 
been diligent in the Difcharge of our Duty ? Have 
we not only avoided crying and fcandalous Sins ? 
(Oh that our Confciences Could bear us witnefs to 
this ! ) bur even excufable Levities and Indecencies, 
which though they do not blacken our Crwisder, yet 
foil and lefien it? Is our private Converfation an- 
fwerable to the Appearances we put on in pubiick ? 
In all Seafons we are in the Sight of God ; He knows 


40 ^ Charge given 

what we are ; our Confciences will tell us, if we con- 
fult them, whether one uniform Principle governs us 
at all Times, or not? 

Ver. 19. Serving the Lord with all humility of Mind, 
and with many Tears and Temptations which befel me by the 
laying in wait of the Jews. 

St. Faul makes this his Tide, that he was the Servant 
of the Lord, therefore he was always Executing every 
thing given him in Commiffion to do. We ferve the 
Lord Chrift; we receive his Wages, and ought to be 
doing his Work. Are we the Servants of Men or of 
Parties ? No, we ought to dedicate ourfelves to this 
one thing ; maintaining St. Paul's Character in this, 
i<Jhxxvii. when he faid, Godwhqje I am and whom 1 ferve; By the 
3« Vows we made at our Ordination, and by the appro- 

priating Character with which we were fefarated 
for theWorkofthe Miniftry , we were then folemuly de- 
dicated to the Service of God ; fo that fetting ailde as 
much as may be the Cares of the World, we ought 
to turn all our Thoughts to this one Thing. 

The Humility of Mind, in which St. Paul had learned 
of him who was lowly in Heart, will give a Command- 
ing Authority to every piece of Service that we fet 
about. A Loftinefs of Look, and a Haughtinefs of Be- 
haviour, will ill become the Servants of him, who came 
not to be mini jtered unto, but to mini ft er. A proud and boi- 
ftrous Deportment will create Oppciltion, and give an 
Averfion to all that we fet about : Whereas a mild and 
an infinuating Temper, with a humble Behaviour, will 
commend us and our Miniftry, even to thofe who are 
not yet convinced that they ought to acknowledge it. 
Certainly an Infolent and affuming Behaviour will 
heighten Prejudices, but a modeft Air will break 
through them, and gain a refpectful Hearing, and 
that may make way to a full Conviction. 

If the Humility of the Apoftles and of their Fellow- 
Labourers overcame all the Pre-poffeffions that the 


at the Vifixation of Salisbury. 4 1 

World had againft them ; What may not we expect 
in our prefent Circumftances, and with all our Ad- 
vantages? But by Humility, I do not mean any thing 
that is low or unbecoming, fawning or abject ; we 
muft leave that to thofe who He in wait to deceive, who 
creep into Hcufes to make Profelites, and to devour the Sub- 
"ftance of thofe whom they enfnare and lead away 
-Captive. A Man may well afiertthe Authority of his 
•Function and Million, without the Airs of Arrogance 
and Scorm 

St. Vaul joined many Tears with his Humility • whether 
he fhed thofe Tears in remembrance of his Blafphe- 
ming the Name of Chrift, and Perfecting his Mem- 
bers, while he was in a State of Ignorance and Unbe- 
lief j or whether they were fhed in his Interceflions'for 
thole he laboured among, is that which we cannot de- 
termine ; but we are fure we on our part have great 
Caufe to fhed many Tears, when we enter into our 
own Hearts, and lookback upon our own Lives; 
when we remember the Sins of our Youth j when we 
reflect on our own great Omiffions, and on the Sins of 
our holy Things. What reafon do we often find in 
ourfelves to apprehend, that God may fay to us, What 
haft thou to do to declare my Statutes, or that thou fiouldeft Pfal. 1. 16 } 17, 
take my Covenant in thy Mouth ? Seeing thou hat eft lnftruBi- 
on, and cafteft my Words behind thee. O let us look back 
often on all our Errors and Failings, that fo we may 
lie in the duff before God, crying out with D^W, 
For thy Name fake, O Lord, pardon mine Iniquity for it is Pfal.xxv. 11.. 
great. The more deeply we are humbled for thefe 3 
and the more bitterly that we mourn over them, we 
may the more certainly reckon that ihey are par- 
doned_, and (hall never rife up to -confound or con- 
demn us. 

Let us have our Days of Falling and Mourning on 

our own Account j and then as the High-Prieft among 

•he Jews, was to begin the Service of the Day of 

F Atone- 

42 yi Charge given 

Levit. xvi. Atonement, with a Sacrifice for his own Sins, and 
after that he was to offer the Sacrifice for the Expia- 
tion of the Sins of the whole Nation j To if we offer 
the Sacrifice of a broken and contrite Heart for our own 
Sins, we may hope that our Tears and Interceffions 
for others, will go up as a Sacrifice holy and acceptable 
unto God. If we fee juft Grounds to apprehend that a 
great and terrible Day of the Lord may be near us, 
then certainly we, who are the Priefts and Minifters 
of the Lord ought to lie proftrate before him, weep- 

Toel ii. 17. ln 8 anc * P ra y' irt S> Sp are *ky People, O Lord, and give not 
thy Heritage to Reproach : We ought to water the Seed 
of the Word that we fow with our Tears ; that Co it 
may grow up under our Care, by our fecret Intercef- 
fions as well as by our publick Labours. If we did 
accuftom our felves, before we do enter on the Per- 
formance of any Part of our Duty, to pray earneftly 
for Affiftance and Direction in it, and for a Blefling 
on it after we have done it, we might then expect. 
Effects of another Nature than I am afraid we fee on 
our Labours- Our Work is God's Work -> and all our 
Attempts would fucceed in another Manner than they 
do, if we begun and ended every Performance with 
earneft Applications at the Throne of Grace. 

St. Paul adds, that befides his Tears he was in many 
Temptations, which befel him by the daily lying in -wait of 
the Jews. They thought they were the People tf 
God, in Poifeffion of the Covenant made with their 
Fathers ; they put all their Religion in performing 
Rituals, and in a cruel Perfecution of thofe who de- 
parted from them. And do not thefe Characters agree 
to the Spirit and Practices of Popery ? They value 
themfelves as the Mother Church ; tho' they have 
corrupted the primitive Simplicity of this Religion 
with infinite Additions, and a vaft Load of Ceremo- 
nies, pretending myftical Significations and great 
Effects from them: By which Men are led away from 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 4.3 

the true Defign of Religion, to amufe themfelves with 
Pomp and Shew: Bur if any Man prefumes lb much 
as to doubt of any thing determined among them, 
then he rnuft prepare himfelf to fuffer the utmoft that 
Fury and Cruelty can contrive, and that in the black- 
eft Methods of Diftimulation and Falfhood. Thefe 
are lying in wait now to deceive us with foft Words, 
to lay us afleep, and to engage us into Quarrels among 
our felves, which muft both diftrad and weaken us. 
But as St. Paul heartily pray'd[for thefe his Perfecutors, 
he alfo ftudied to gain them by all honed Compli- 
ances ; for his own part he could have wifh'd to have 
been univerfally hated and held in Execration for their Rom.ix. 3. 
fakes, fo we ought not to fuffer our felves to be embit- 
tered by all the ill Ufage that we, or others may have 
met with at their Hands : We ought to pity and to 
pray for them, and to be wanting in no Ads of Cha- 
rity towards them j except only fuch as may put us 
in their Power: For we know what that muft end in, 
even in utter Extirpation ; of which we fee too many 
Inftances before our Eyes, to be able to doubt of 

And are there not others among our felves too 
deeply tin&ured with this Pharifaical Temper, 
who Yet too high a Value on Rituals, and on fome 
particular Notions, and bitterly cenfure, and as far 
as they can,ieven perfecute, thofe who do not think as 
they do, by Slander and Defamation : Endeavouring 
to defeat all their Labours, and to render their Per- 
fons and their Miniftry as odious and contemptible as 
they can j and that without a Shadow of Truth, or 
the leaft Provocation? How much of this we our 
felves meet with, is but too often laid in our Way. 
We cannot but lament when we fee fuch Things fo 
freely vented and fo readily received : I hope we 
ftudy on thefe Occasions to follow the Practice of our 
•Bleifed Lord, and do pray, Father forgive them they kmiv 
•F 2 not 

44- ^Charge given. 

■not what they do. But if by fuch Means the Good that 
we defign to do is in any fort obftru&ed, they mall 
bear their Burden^ and they will feel it a heavy one in 
the Day of their Account. I will dwell no longer on 
fo melancholy a Subjeft, I wifh I could pray more 
over it, and io mafter it. 
•r. 20. ^ n ^ ^ ow ^ t> ave ^ e P ^ ac ^ mt h' ln & f hat was profitable unto 

you y but have [hewed you , and have taught you publkkly and. 
from Houfe to Houfe. 

In Oppofttion to all tbefe Practices, St. Paul took 
Pains fully to inftruft the Ghriftrans. He kept up no. 
Part of that which might be profitable for them ; he 
avoided what was dark and not eafily apprehended: 
But for the practical and ufeful Parts, he had no Re- 
ferves : He opened all to them, he had both Jhewedic, 
and had infilled in a more particular Inftru&ing them 1 
He had not only fet every thing once before them, 
but he cleared all Difficulties and anfwered all Obje- 
dions : He did this both publickly, and from Houfe to 
Houfe. In. the Difcourfes he had to them all in com- 
mon he ftated the Matters truly to them ; he gave 
them a Right Understanding of them, and for fuch 
of them as required a more minute Satisfa&ion thart 
was neceffary for a larger Affembly, he took Pains on 
them in private. 

Here is our Pattern : We ought to inftrud our Peo-: 
pie in all the. Parts of Religion^ that it may concern 
them to be inftructed in : We are not to do as in Po-r 
pery, to keep our People hoodwinked, in an implicire 
Faith, and a blind Obedience, to deny them the Ufe 
of the Scriptures,, and to keep the Worfhip of God in 
an unknown Tongue : We have no Referves of Tra- 
ditions to be kept in our own Hands till we think fit 
to publifh them. We have an Example fet us by the 
Apoftles : For tho' they had, by the Miracles that were 
done by them, a Right to oblige all the Churches to 
iubmit to them 3 yet they managed their Authority 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 45.. 

with fuch regard to Men's Reafons and Underftand. 
ines that they opened the Scriptures to them, and 
commended thofe who examined their Do&rine, Arts xvii. i*. 
comparing it with the Scriptures. We ought to dwell 
the more copioufly on fuch particular Matters, as the 
Circumftances of the Time, and ot Points in Quefti- 
on and on Foot may require it. 

The Manner of St. Paul s inftru<5ting them does like- 
wife challenge our Imitation ; he did it both fublickl/ 
and from boufe to boufe. Our Sermons ought to be plain 
and inftructive, (hort and clear, dehver'd with Gravi- 
tv and Zeal : Firft we ought to (hew the Nature of 
that which we teach others, together with Arguments 
from Scripture, Reafon, and other Authorities, fuch 
as may fully convince our Hearers of the Truth of the 
Things we fet before them, avoiding the Perplexity 
of a labour'd Stile, and the Affe&ations of Learning 
and Eloquence: Not wearying them out with unintel- 
ligible Subtilties, drawn out to a tedious Length. We 
ought alfo to follow our publick Labours with private . 
Inftrudions, confidering fuch particular Cafes, where 
private Explanations or Admonitions may be further 
neceffary, and where they ought to be fecretly ap- 
plied • cultivating fuch Plants as may deferve a dl- 
ftinguifhingCare; fatisfying private Scruples and 
defending even to the Weakneifes ofiome diiorderd 
Minds • remembering how our Saviour applied his 
Care to a fallen Woman that refufed him a Draught of 
Water. In a Word, we ought to make it our Work 
to teach and inftrucl our People with our utmoft Di- 
ligence and in the belt Methods we can contrive : 
We are' their Paftors, and they are our Flock on 
whom we ought continually to attend : We are Ldbou- - 
vers and Builders, and fo we ought to follow them with 
a conftant Application and daily Care ; but as this 
ought to be our Work at all Times, io raoft elpecially 
we ought to fet about it with great Tendernefc, when 


46 A Charge given 

any of our Flock are under the Hand of God, either 
in Afrli&ion or chiefly in Sicknefs ; they are then ge- 
nerally apt to hear, and to refleft, to refolve and to 
! promife ; this is to be managed with Care and Difcre- 
tion ; neither fhewing too eafie an Indulgence, nor 
an extream Rigor : And we ought to avoid carefully 
the giving Way to that Vulgar and fatal Error, by 
which People fanfy, if they receive the Sacrament at 
their Death, that their Peace is made with God • as 
if that were a fure Pafsport to bring thofe to Heaven 
who negle&ed it in the whole Gourfe of their Lives: 
Here is the mod important Part of our Miniftry, in 
which we ought to be moft particularly watchful and 

But though upon different Occafions it may be fit 
for us to apply ourfelves to feveral Subjects, infifting 
at different times more than Ordinary upon fome of 
them • yet there are fome capital ones, that we ought 
to keep in our View perpetually, and to imploy our- 
felves moft in them ; and thefe are the Things that 
St. Paul labour'd chiefly in. 
Ver. 21. Tejtifying both to the Jews and alfo to the Greeks Repen- 

tance towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jefus Chrift-. 
Thefe ought to be our conftant Subjects, upon 
which in Seafbn and out of Seafon we ought to labour 
continually.- We ought to begin with this, with 
which both St. John Baptift and our Saviour begun 
their Preaching faying, Repent, for the Kingdom of God 
is at Hand : We ought to awaken our People's Con 
fciences, to make them apprehend the Guilt and 
the Defilement of Sin, and the Judgments of God that 
hang over their Heads, while they live on in their 
Sins, and are without God in the World. We ought 
to fet the Terrors of God before them, and to fpeak 
of this Matter with all the Weight and Authority that 
we can put in our Words : We ought to give them 
^heir full Efficacy, by fhewing that we do fincerely 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 47 

apprehend the Truth of them ourfelves, as well as we fee 
them before others; that it may not be thought that 
we put many dreadful Words together only to terrifie 
others; but that we ourfelves have no Concern about 
them.This will foeffe<5tually defeat ourEndeavours,that 
all our Labour will be in vain, till it appears that the 
Matters which we ftudy to bear in upon others, do 
really make a deep Impreffion upon ourfelves. 

There is nothing that we ought to infift more upon 
with relation to Repentance, than to bear down the too 
commonly received Notion, that a forrowing for Sin 
is Repentance : Whereas it is only the Beginning of 
the EffecT: of it. Here the World is apt to run into 
fatal Miftakes. Thefe feem to have bothAuthority and 
common Practice on their Side in the Church of Rome, 
where Afts of Contrition with fome flight Penan- 
ces are enjoined, and upon that Abfolution is given : . 
I am afraid this Conceit is too commonly received 
every where ; People are apt to think, if before a Sa- 
crament, or after fome heinous Sin committed they 
confefs it to God with A<5ts of Sorrow, that are per- 
haps forced Ads, which they command themfelves to 
think, as they may utter forrowful Words, without a 
real Compun&ion, that then they have truly repent- 
ed : But let the Sorrow be ever fo real, if that does 
not rife from a Change of Principle, fo that there is 
no internal Renovation of Mind (which is the true No- 
tion of the Word in the Original) it may be indeed a 
godly Sorrow , but it is not Repentance unto Life for that 
mult lie deep in the Soul, and appear in the Change 
of a Man's whole Life and Deportment. 

Next to our Labours, to bring our People to Repen- 
tance toward God, we rauft ftudy to build them up in our 
moft holy Faith towards the Lord Jefus Chrift, who was a 
Man like unto us in all Things, but in whom the Eter- 
nal Word that was with God, and that was God, dwelt 
Bodily. The only begotten Son that war in the Bofom of 


48 yf Charge given 

the Father was made Flejh, and as he took our Nature 
on him, fo he bore our Sins on his own Body ; and is 
now at the Right-hand of God making Interceffon for us. 
"This is the Foundation of our Faith on which we 
are to build up our Selves, and all that are committed 
to our Charge. "It is the believing this truly, the ap- 
plying our felves to God for the Pardon of our Sins 
through his Death, and the offering up our Prayers 
to God by him 3 and the putting our whole Truft and 
•Confidence in him, that makes us truly Chriftians, for 
without this we are Chriftians only in Name and 
Shew. "We ought to take all poflible Pains to poftefs 
our People with a firm Belief of the Gofpel, and-that 
Chrift did prove his Divine Miffion by his Miracles, 
chiefly by his Refurre&ion and Afcenfion, and by the 
'fending down of the Holy Ghoft on his Difciples. 
Thefe Things were written and received in that Age, 
in which many Hundreds were then alive, who had 
feen and knew the Truth of the wonderful Fads re- 
lated in them. Thefe T3ooks were put in the Hands 
of all the Chriftians, multiplied into many Copies, 
and foon after into many Tranflations : They were 
alfo in daily Ufe, Parcels of them being read in the 
'Affemblies of the Chriftians every Lord s Day, and 
we know by the Writings in all the Ages fince that 
Time, that the Books are the fame now that they 
were then, pure and uncorrupted •> fome fmall Efcapes 
In Writing, in which fome Copies differ from others,, 
amount to nothing that is material. 

This is the Foundation of all, and therefore We 
ought to go often over it, and to dwell-much upon 
it, till we infufe it fo deep into our People, that they 
may become Matters of the Argument, not believing 
only becaufe they will believe, or in a mere traditio- 
nal Way, becaufe they were told fo, and in their 
'Childhood learned Catechifms, and got into a Rote 
©f profeffing, and perhaps of thinking that they be- 

at the Vijitation of Salisbury. 4.9 

lieve it : But we ought to bring them to be able to 
give a Reafon of the Hope that is in them, to every one that 
askcth it. A bare traditional believing, will in a Day 
of Temptation prove like building on the Sand : 
Winds and Floods will fhake or undermine an ill 
grounded Confidence. We muft carry this yet fur- 
ther than the tare believing that thefe Things are 
true ; fuch a Faith Devils have : We mud m.ike our 
People underftand, that this Faith purifies the Heart, 
and works by Love ; and it only becomes a faving and 
juftifying Faith, when upon our entering on the 
Practice of thefe Rules, that this Religion prefcribes, 
we feel a real Virtue derived into us that makes us 
become new Creatures, and gives us fuch a Vital Percep- 
tion of the Truth of the Promifes made us in if, 
That we receive thefe as Earnefts of our Inheritance, and 
fo tafie and fee that God is gracious to us. This makes us 
living Stones in the Spiritual Building, and by this we 
are laid to be building up our felves in our moft holy 

And now behold I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerufalem, Ver > 22 > 2 y 
not knowing the Things that Jhall befall me there, fave that 
the Holy Ghoft witnejfeth in every City that Bonds and Affli- 
ction abide me. 

Upon this General Review of St. Paul's Life and his 
labours, ic was that he was going on doing his 

He was now carrying up a Supply that he had ga- 
thered in the Churches of Greece for the Brethren at 
Jerufakm, who, what by Reafon of the Famine that 
had been in thole Parts, and what by the Unkindnefs 
of their Countrymen, wanted that Relief : Herefol- 
ved to be at Jerufalem this Pentecoft, and though he 
had Reafon to apprehend that the Jews who perfecu- 
ted him in all Places through which he went, would 
lend thither before him fevere and falfe Reprefentaci- 
ons of his Conduct ,• and he knew how apt they were 
G to 

$o ^ Charge given 

to receive ill Impreffions, and to profecute thefe with 
the utmoft Fury, fo that he had Reafon enough from 
the Knowledge he had of their Temper and Principles, 
with which he had been once deeply tin&ured himfelf, 
to look for an ill Reception there ; yet this was not 
all: Infpired Men did in the Cities through which 
he paffcd, tell him from a Motion of the Holy Ghoft, 
that Bends and Afflictions did abide him there. Thefe things 
were apt to work on the natural Man : And Chrift 
having told his Difciples that when they were ferfecuted 
in one City, they might)?/ to another, that might feemto 
warrant his avoiding thefe, and his going to labour 
elfewhere '• Yet he had aPreflure upon his Spirit, by 
which he felt himfelf as one bound to go thither. It 
feems there was no more revealed to him then, but 
that he ought to go to Jerufalem, the reft was to be 
opened to him in due time. 

Ver. 24. % ut nom °f *h e f e Things move me neither count I my Life 

dear unto my felf,fo that I might fnijh my Courfe with Joy 
and the Miniflry which I have received of the Lord Jefus to 
teftify the Gofpl of the Grace of God. The Words with 
which the Verie begins may be rendered, / make no 
Account of thefe Things, or bring them not into the 
Reckoning : He efteemed them as nothing : Thofe 
which follow neither count I my Life dear unto me that I 
might finijli, may be well rendered,/*) dear unto me as that 
I may finift. 

None of thefe Things moved htm : So far from fhaking 
him, that they did not fo much as move him. Great 
Soul ! What could move him if thefe did not ? He had 
a little before that written to the Romans that which 

Rom. viu.35.hg felt now ftirring powerfully within him, Whofhall 
feparate us from the Love of Chrift ? Shall Tribulation, or 
Diftrefs, or Perfecution, or Famine, or Nakednefs, or Peril, 
cr Sword ? Nay in all thefe things we are more than Conque- 
rors, through him who loved u*. He was fixed : His 
Heart was fixed trusting in the Lord, fo that he was not 


at the Vijitation of Salisbury. 51 

afraid pftbofe evil Tidings. Bonds and Imprifonmcncs 
were bur feeble Tcrrours to one, to whom Life ic felt 
Ttm not fo dear, bur that he was ready to give it up and 
to finifli his Cottrfe with Joy 3 how fevere foevcr the laft 
Steps of it might be : He knew he was to receive his 
Crown when he had finifhed his Courfe; and to enter 
into the Joy of his Lord. He was refolved to perfift in 
his Miniftry till God mould put a Stop to it, who 
had committed to him a noble Share in that glorious 
Work, in which he laboured more abundantly than 
all the Apoftles. 

He refolved to go on teftifjing the Gofpel, or the glad 
Tidings of God's Grace and Favour to Mankind. He had 
been long a Difciple of the Crofs, and was ready to 
lofe his Life that he might fave ic. 

And now let us enter into our own Hearts, and ask 
our felves, what Emotion do we feel within our felves 
upon the prefent Profped of Danger, with which both 
Friends and Enemies feem to be fo much poffeffed ? 
Do our Minds fink within us ? Are we inwardly caft 
down ? If we arevthe true Difciples of Ch rift we will 
rather lift up our Heads and rejoy-ce, becaufe onr Redemption 
draws near. We may indeed tremble for the Ark of 
God, for the vilible Profeffion of his holy Gofpel, 
which is perhaps in imminent Danger, we may trem- 
ble for the great Numbers that we may fear, will fall 
in the evil Day, and renounce their holy Religion : 
We may be alio juftly afraid of our felves, left we fall 
into the Snare of the Devil. A juft Fear on all thefe 
Accounts is what well becomes us : But this inftead 
of weakening our Faith will heighten it : When we 
put no Confidence in our felves, and go not out in 
our own Strength, but take hold of his Strength who 
will guide us by his Council, and afterwards receive us to his 
Glory. Let us raife up our Minds to confider the glo- 
rious Recompence of Reward that is fet before us ; that 
this may animate us to take up the Crofs, if God calls us 
G 2 to 

52 i Charge given 

to fuffer with Joy; counting it an Honour 1 not only to 
believe but to fuffer for his Name, whofuffered for us, and 
bore our Sins on his own Body. Then we become truly 
his Difciples : We may reckon that our patient Suf- 
fering will much advance the Honour of our holy Re- 
ligion. It will fhew that we truly believe it, when 
ue are ready to die for k : And (ince we mull believe 
that God will be with us in fo glorious a Manner, as 
h» was with all the bleffed Company of Martyrs who 
fealed the Faith with their Blood : Our Conftancy 
even in the Extremity of Sufferings, as it muft con- 
found our Perfecutors'; fo it will inflame the Zeal of 
thofe, who might otherwife fink with Fear and Difcou- 
ragement ; it will raife another Spirit in them,and dif- 
pofe them to rejoyce when they are called to be bap- 
tized with the fame Baptifm, and to drink of the fame Cup. 
This was the Seed of the Church ; and contributed 
perhaps no lefs to the giving it the amazing Progrefs 
that it had in the firft Ages, than the Miracles them- 
felves had done. In all Places where thofe Fires were 
kindled, the Light of the Gofpel fhined out with the 
more Advantage by their Means. This fame glorious 
Confirmation was again very confpicuous in the Re- 
vival of Chriftianity at the Reformation ; in which 
this our Church had an eminent Share. Let us there- 
fore lift up our Hands that hung down, and the feeble Knees : 
That fo looking to that Cloud of Witnefjes that compafs us 
about, and above all to Jefus the Author and Finijher of 
our Faith, we may run with Patience the Race that is fet be- 
fore us. We may lawfully pray that this Cup rtay pafs 
from us. But when it appears that it is the Will of God 
to put it in our Hands, mall we not drink it ? Oh ! 
if we had in us a Meafure of the Spirit of Chrift, we. 
would rather haften to that Day of the Lord; with 
Defire we would defire it, and beftraitened in our felves 
till it were accomplifh'd. We know we muft all die 
once,, and can we ever die fo glorioufly, and hope to 


at the Vijitation of Salisbury. £3 

do io much good in and by our Death, as if we fhould 
die for him, who loved us, and has wafted us from our 
Sins in his own Blood, and has made us Kings and Vriefts 
forever unto God ? And who has promiled that if we 
Continue faithful to the Death s he will give us the Vittory, 
and the Crown of Life. If we are flain for the Word of 
God and for his TeHimony , our Souls fhall be joyned to 
the BleiTed who are under the Altar of God, where 
white Robes (hall be given us ; anl we fhall be fet down 
at laft on the Throne of God, and reign with Chrifi for ever. 
Oh ! that this Profpeft could raile fuch an Ardour of 
Zeal in us, that we may feel we, bate not only Father and' 
Mother, IVife and Children, Brethren and Sifters, hut cur 
cwn Life alfo 3 when it ftands in Competion with, but 
much more when it cowries in Oppofuion tQ the Will 
and Call of our bleiled Lord, to follow him, and to 
fufrer for him. 

And now behold I know that ye all among whom I havev e r.2<,26,27j, 
gone preaching the Kingdom of God frail fee my Face no 

Wherefore I take ycu to record this Day that I am pure from 
the Blood of all Men. 

For I have not jJmnned to declare unto you all the Counfel 
of God. 

St. Paul knew that thofe to whom he fpake were to 
fee bis Face no more ; upon which he feems to rife in his 
Speech to them with a more folemn Authority, chal- 
lenging them all to bear Record that he was free from the 
Blood of all Men. He had given them both InftrudHon 
and Warning : He had fet them a Pattern in his own 
Deportment ; He had planted the Churches with his 
Labours, and had watered them with his Tears, and 
fometimes with his Blood : He had been tender and 
affedtionate, careful and diligent ; he had preach'd in 
Seafon, and out of Seafon, a Phrafe importing at all 
Times, not only upon the regular Returns of theic 
Aflemblies, on the firft Day of the Week, but upon 


54 ^ Charge 

many other Occafions, out of thefe regular Sea fons : 
For this is not to be underftood as fimply out of Seafon. 
In this he charges Timothy, v^hom he lent to cultivate 
what he had planted, to follow the Pattern he had 
fet him. He had connived at no Man's Sin, as he was 
not afraid of any Man's Perfon: He had alfo joyned 
with his Zeal and Care all the Softnefs of Prudence, 
becoming all things to all Men, that by ar.y Means he might 
gain feme. 

It will be an unfpeakable Comfort to us, if when 
we are called to make up our Accounts, we dare look 
back, and find that we have no Guilt but our own 
to be charged with ; that is heavy enough God knows. 
If the Guilt of Blood (hed by any has a Cry, how 
much a louder Cry will the Lofs of Souls have before 
God ? If our Example has had an ill Influence, either 
to draw any to Sin, or to encourage them to continue 
in it, how black and crying is this Guilt ? And with 
how much Sorrow, and how many Tears is it to be 
wafli'd off? And with what Earneftnefs ought we to 
pray for fuch Perfons, on whom any thing that they 
have feen in us may have fuch fatal Effedte ? But if 
we have not been guilty in fo crying a manner, yet 
God will require at our Hands the Blood of all thofe 
who by our RemiiTnefs, and by our Failing in our 
Duty, have either been left to continue or to live on 
in Sin, chiefly if a feeble Fear has reftrained us, or a 
criminal Indulgence to fuch as are kind to us has 
ftop'd our Mouths, fo that we gave them no Warning, 
but left them to fleep on in their Sins till they perifh'd 
in them. We will feel this to be a Load upon us able 
to fink us when we think have we left thofe Souls to 
ferifh for whom ChriFt died! And that on any mean or 
bafe Ends. Have we declared to them all the Counfel 
of God? Have we fetthe Terroursof God before them ? 
And have we befought them by the Mercies of God ? 
Have we been careful to inftrntf the Ignorant, to help 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 5 5 

the Poor, to fupportthe Weak, and to relieve them as 
we are able, or to procure Relief to them ? Have we 
ftudied to enter into the Council of God ? Have we 
read the Scriptures much, and laboured to attain to a 
Spiritual Underftanding of them, by frequent Prayers 
and Meditations ? 

St. Paul from thefe Promifes comes to the Main of 
his Exhortation, Take heed therefore unto your [elves and to Ver. 28. 
all the Flock ever the which the Holy Ghofi hath made you 
Over feers, to feed the Church of God which he hcitb fur- 
chafed with his own Blood. We mud firft watch over 
our Selves, if we would watch over others with Suc- 
cefs : We mud look to our Deportment, for the World, 
both the good and the bad, obferve us : The good 
are edified when they fee our goodConverfation, as a 
Pattern teaching them how to follow us as we follow 
Chrift : They are nor a little caft down when they fee 
Things amifs in us. The bad are confounded, when 
they find nothing in us to gratifie their Malice , they 
wait for our Halting -, they will triumph on it as a 
Victory on their Side ; they will lay hold either on 
real or feeming Faults ; they will aggravate them all 
they can, and fpread them as far as their Reach can 
go. We are as a City fet on a Hill that cannot be hid. The 
Scandals that any one of our Body gives the World 
call fome Reflections on all about them, while our 
Enemies think fome are more barefaced, and others 
are better masked, but they conclude all are alike guil- 
ty. There will be a Mixture of Tares among the 
Wheat, till the great Day of fevering the one from the 
other comes : Yet thcugh it be impoflible but that 
fome Scandals will be given, wo unto thofe by whom they are 
given : But though vifible Blemifhcs are monftrous 
Things in a Clergyman,yet it is only a low Degree in 
Vertue for us to be free of them. There are fome Sins 
of which the fingle A<5ts have not fo foul a Deformity 
in them, yet the Habits of them (hew Minds no lefs 


$6 ^ Charge given 

depraved than other more fcandalous ones do : fuch are 
Pride, Pafiion, Covetoufnefs, Evil-fpeaking, and Re- 
venge ; thefe do go often by better Names, and are 
called the afferting our own Right, our Zeal, a pru- 
dent Frugality, a Hatred of Sin, and of Sinners- but 
let every Man enter into his own Heart, and ask 
himfelf before God, what are his true Principles, and 
by what Rules does he govern himfelf. God is not 
mocked, tho' we may deceive others, and ftudy even 
to deceive our felves. The Freedom from juft Impu- 
tations is indeed a great Advantage : As for that 
which is mere Fidion and Falfhood, we are not to be 
much concerned in it ; fince the Son of God bore 
fuch a Share in thefe, we muft commit our felves to 
God, and look on this as a Tryal of our Patience, 
and muft fubmit to it as a Punifhment : But even in 
fuch a Cafe, we ought, if we dare, to make our Ap- 
peals to God of our Innocence ; we ought alfo to re- 
fled: on the other Errors of our Life that are not 
known, but are perhaps of the fame Sort, and reckon 
that the Falfhoods charged on us, do call on us to re- 
fled: on thofe Parts of our Lives, that tho' they have 
efcaped the Publick View, yet are no lefs Criminal. 
But how valuable a Thing foever it be to have no 
black Imputations caft on us ; this is but a low Size, 
to be blamelefs, harmlefs, and without Rebuke : We ought 
to jhine as Lights, as becomes the Sons of God, we muft 
not only abftain from all Appearance of Euil, fuch as 
& Levity of Behaviour, or Difcourfe, the unnecefTary 
being in Publick-Houfes , the going Toward the 
Neighbourhood of Sin, as if we were trying how 
near we may come to Sin without engaging in it: 
We muft on the contrary keep at thegreateft Diftance 
from it : A Clergyman that is much at Home, and 
oft in his Study, is fafe, and out of the Way of much 
Evil : That keeps him out of a promifcuous Converfa- 
cion, and faves a great Lofs of Time ; it will not only 


at the Vi fit at ion of Salisbury. 57 

be a Mean to furnifh him with good Materials for the 
Work he is engag'd in, but it will create him fo much 
the more Refped: from thofe, who may be from that in- 
duced to believe, that he is exercifed in fomewhac 
that may turn to their good, and their profiting Too 
great Familiarity with thofe who cannot rightly un- 
derstand it, muft leffen us in their Efteem, who fee- 
ing us fo like themfelves, may come to have but low 
Thoughts of us, and it will take much off from whac 
we can fay to them from the Pulpit, when they find 
us to be far different from it in our Familiar Dif- 
courfe. A meek and a humble, a patient and quiec 
Temper, a ferious, but unaffected Gravity, an exadfc 
Sobriety andModefty, and a Readinefs both to forgive 
and to do Good for Evil, with fuch a Meafure of 
Bounty as our Condition can bear } thefe are bright 
and mining Chara&ers, which will beyond the Force 
of any Arguments and Books raife our Dignity, re- 
commend our Perfons and our Labours ; they will 
draw Refpecl, and filence Opposition ; they will give 
an Authority to all we fay, either in private or pub- 

This ought to be our firffc and chief Care: And 
this will both difpofe us to difchargc that which fol- 
lows, of taking heed to all the Flock^ and enable us to 
acquit our felves in it with great Advantage. In the 
firft Simplicity of the World, the looking after a Flock 
was one of the Primitive Employments : And as it re- 
quired a conftant Attendance and great Care, fo the 
Figure came to be applied to higher Labours, Kings 
were called the Shepherds of the People, and God him- 
felf defcenJ to be called the Shetkrd of ifrael, the 
figure was applied by the Prophets in the Old Te ft a- 
w:;;/, and is carried on in the New, to thole who have 
the Care of Souls committed to them ; to put them 
in Mind of a daily waiting on their Duty, and of the 
tender Care with which they ought to manage the 
Flock. They have a great Account to give, fince 
they muft not only anfwer, as all others muft do, for 
H their 

^8 y^ Charge given 

their own Souls, but muft give an Account of all the. 
Flock, neglecting none for their Meannefs,and afraid, 
of none for their Eminence. 

The two Confiderations added, are of the. greateft 
Weight to enforce the Duty : The Charge is com- 
mitted to us by the Holy Ghoft, who has conftitured us 
the Ovcrfeerj or Bifiops of the Flock. I need not tell 
you how weak a Pretence that which is brought a- 
gainft the Epifcopal Order is, becaufe thofe who are 
here called BiJhops } were called Elders Verfe 1 8. Thefe 
Terms were then promifcuoufly ufed. So the Apoftles 
and their Fellow-Labourers are alfo called Deacons s _ 
in all thofe Places where you find the Word Afinifter, 
which is in the Original Deacon. So if this is a good 
Argument, that Bifhop and Presbyter import the fame 
Office, it will alfo prove that Deacon is likewife the 
fame Office. Elder was a Term importing both Age 
and Authority : St. Feter takes it to himfelf, as well as 
St.yohn: They call themfelves Elders , which only a- 
mounts to this, that there was not yet a ftri& and de- 
termined Signification fixed to thefe Terms : but that 
grew up with a little Time, to be appropriated to 
thofe diftinft Functions. 

Thefe Bifhops were by an immediate and an extra- 
ordinary Motion of the Holy GhoH , called to their 
Function, as St. Clement informs us , and in that ftri& 
Senfe they cannot be applied to thofe who are now 
by ordinary Methods brought into the Service of the. 
Church : Yet among us, when any are Ordained Dea- 
cons, they are asked if they believe that they.are in- 
wardly moved by the Holy GhoB to undertake the Office, and 
they anfwer, that they behc-ve they are. This is a Lying to 
the Holy Gboft/if thofe who fay it are fo ignorant that, 
they know nothing of it, and feei nothing within 
them that anfwers it. The true Account of this Que- 
ftion and Anfwer is,Tharfuch as are inwardly called 
of God to this Holy Fun&ion, do fet about it with a 
fincere Defign to advance God's Glory, and to edi- 
fy his Church : If thefe are a Man's Motives, he 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 59 

may juftly reckon that they arife from the Motions 
of the Divine Spirit within him, for they are not the 
Growth of the natural Man. If then we have a 
Charge put upon us, though in the ordinary Way, 
by the Spirit of God, as it is no fmall Dignity to 
which he has raifed us, fo we muft expeft to be 
called to a ftrid Account of this Commiffion. 

It is to feed the Church of God, to fer before them 
the found Do&rines of Ghriftianity, not corrupted, 
nor fophifticated with falfe GloiTes or impure Mix- 
tures, to lead them to thofe green Paftures, the plain 
and fimple Nouriihmenc, the Meat that enduretb to ever- 
luffing Life ; the Bread that came down from Heaven, in 
the true and Spiritual Senfe, for his Words are Spirit 
and Life, not the Sacramental Bread, for it is certain 
that a Man may eat thereof and yet die : So it can be 
only meant of his Doctrine, for whofoever eats his 
Fle(h and drinks his Blood, has everla fling Life, andjball ne- 
ver die (the Language and Figure of Life, importing 
the digefting his Words into an inward Nouriflimeni.) 
The dividing this Word aright, initru&ing the Igno- 
rant, exhorting the Remifs, admonifhing thofe thac 
are out of the Way, the comforting the afflicted, the 
humbling the proud and fupponing the lowly, are 
the feveral Portions, of which a faithful Steward will 
give every one his Share in due Seafon. 

There is added to this another Confideration, Thac 
God has purchafed the Church with his own Blood j 
you cannot but obferve here, that Chrift is truly God, 
the Blood which this Purchafe cofl: him is called the 
Blood of God, not as if the Divinity in him was capa- 
ble of fuflfering, but as the Union between cuYSouls 
and Bodies is of luch a Nature, that an unaccountable 
Communication is interchanged between them. What 
belongs to the one Part, is in the common Forms of 
Speech afcribed to the whole Man ; fo here God and 
Man are fo united, that all thac belongs to the Man 
is fpoken of as alfo belonging to God. Thefe Words 
fet forth both theDignity of the Church, that ic is the 
H z Pur- 

6o i Charge give^i 

Purchafe of no lefs Value than of the Blood of God, it 
alfo fets forth the Incomprehenfible Love of God, 
who laid down his Life for us : We fee in this as well 
the high Value of immortal Souls, as the heinous 
Guilt of Sin that could be redeemed at no lower Rate. 
The Redemption of the Soul is precious, and if the 
Time is let pafs, if ceafeth for ever. Souls then of fuch 
Value and fo dear to God, ought to be looked afcer 
at another Rate than many do, who feem to think it 
"below them to labour in fuch mean Work, and there- 
fore turn it over to fuch a Stipendiary as can be hired 
at the lowefl Rates. Do fuch Perfons think it below 
them to feed or watch over thofe Souls for which 
Chrift was willing to lay down his Life ? Shall a re- 
mifs and flight performing of Offices, and the read- 
ing of EfTays rather than Sermons once a Week, while 
the Souls of the Flock are not all the Week long 
perhaps once thought on, pafs for the feeding the 
Church? Shall we decline our Labour, when he did 
not refufe his Blood ? Shall we who live by the Altar- 
not ferve at the Altar ? And fhall we receive the Hire } 
without the Title that the Labourer has to it ? This is 
an Abufe that is tolerated no where, and in no 
Church in the World but among us : And can we mag- 
nify our Conftitution, when Abufes that Popery is 
afhamed of, and has thrown off, yet have the Face of 
Law, and are in common Practice with us. Oh how 
many Souls, both of Paftors and People periih by this 
Means ! We have the Purchafe of Chrift's Blood put 
into our Hands, to be fecured and perfected by our 
Labours. Let us but think of the dying Groans of 
the SoJ^of, God, and fee if thefe do not raife a Ten- 
dernefs and beget a Zeal in us, towards thofe immor- 
tal Souls, which through our Neglect or ill Conduct 
run the hazard of their perifhing eternally, and of our 
perifhing eternally with them. Let us repeat the 
Word Eternally, Eternally y t\\\ we feel our felves brought 
under the overcoming Power of fo great a Though*-. 
Repeat this Verfe frequently in your Minds ; for by . 


at the Vifitation of Salisbury. 6 r 

fo doing, a noble Senfe of Things will be awaken'd 
within you, of which you and many others may 
come to feel che happy Effects to all Eternity. 

I have faid fo much in the Sermon of the two fol- 
lowing Verfes, both with relation to the grievous 
Wolves, and to thofe among themfelves who were toarife 
and to fpeak perverfe Things, that I fhall add no more on 
them j only I muft inform you of one thing, which I 
did not think fo proper for a Sermon. Above two 
Years ago, one of the AiTertors of the Invalidity of 
Lay-Baptifm objected to me, That whereas I had af- 
firmed, that ever from the Cyprianick Age, the Tra- 
dition of the Church had been in favour of Baptifmas 
valid, by what Hand foever it was Adminiftered, fo 
long as it was by Water, in the Name of the Father, of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghoft : Yet in Anfvver to this he has 
objected, that in a very Numerous Council, where 
there were three Patriarchs and feven and fifty Metro- 
politans, in the Y r ear n 66, all thofe Bapcifmsby Lay 
Hands were condemned ; this refts on the Authority 
of Matthew Blaftaris a Greek Monk, who wrote in* 
the Year 1 3 j) : He indeed tells an incredible Story 
of this, as one of the greateft Councils that ever met;, 
though it may be a Queftion, whether there were then 
fo many Metropolitans in all the Eaftern Churches ;. 
and that in Countries commanded by Mahometan Prin- 
ces, and in the Heat of the Holy Wars: At that time, 
fuch an AiTembly might have provoked them to a ge- 
neral Maffacre of all the Chriftians in thole Parts : So 
that this feems to be a Forgery ot fome among the 
Greeks : For Glycas who lived about that time, cites 
the LI. Canon made by Nicephsrus Patriarch of Conftan- p ^ 
tinople, quite contrary to this ; in which he, with the 
Holy Fathers who were prefent, decreed, that when 
there was no Prieft, the Father or any other Ortho- 
dox Perfon might Baptize Infants not yet Baptized. 
This is publifhed by Lemiclavim , in his Collection of 
the Decrees of the Greek Church : And it does net ap-. • 
pear that ever the Greek Church condemned Lay Bap- 


62 ^ Charge given 

tifm-.h. Hundred Year after Blaftaris wrote, the Recon- 
ciliation between the Greek and the Roman Church was 
made up at Florence. But no Mention was then made 
of any Difference between them as to this Matter. The 
Armenians came at the fame time and de fired to be like- 
wife united to the Roman Church, under the Protecti- 
on of the Greek Emperor ; and in the-Decree that Pope 
Eagen'ms made for their Re union, where an Enumera- 
tion is made of the Do£irines of the Roman Church, 
on the Head of Baptifm, this is fet down, Minifter hu- 
jusSacramenti eftSacerdos , cut ex officio com fet it Baptifare : In 
caufa autem neceffitatisnon folum Sacerdos vel Diaconus,fed eti- 
am Laicm vel Mulier, imo etiam Paganus&Hereticus baptifare 
pot eft. The Mini ft er of this Sacrament is the Trie ft, to whofe 
Office it belongs tobaptife ; but in the Cafe of Neceffity, not only 
a Prieft or a Deacon, but even a hay-man or a Woman, and 
even a Pagan or a Heretick may baptife. Baronim indeed 
tells us of a Pra&ice among the Mahometans, that they 
forced the Chriftian Priefts to baptize their Chil- 
dren, before they Circumcifed them, looking on that 
as a Charm ; fuch Baptifms he tells us were declared 
M Annum void, for they were indeed no Baptifms: Perfons fo 
n\%,An. 46 baptized were decreed to be re-baptized, if they be- 
came Chriftians. This was all that he knew of the 
Matter. This is alfo related by Blaftaris, together 
with the Condemnation of thofe Baptifms, as being 
no true Baptifms. The Motion upon this that was faid 
to be made by the Prieft or Bifliop of Heracleo, for 
condemning thofe who were baptized by Perfons 
that were not in Holy Orders, but only pretended to 
be fo, rauft reft on the Credit of Blaftaris. 

To maintain the Decifion, that fuch ought to be 
Re-baptized, Reference is made to the 46th and 47^ 
Canons of the Apoftles: By the 46th Canon, A Bijhop 
who received the Baptifm of Hereticks is condemned : By the 
47/16, He who Re-baptifes thofe who had a true Baptifm is 
fikewife condemned. The reconciling thefe two is to be 
taken from the Forms in which fome Hereticks did bap- 
tize. Irenaus tells us, That the Gno flicks did baptize, 

at the Vtfitation of Salisbury. 63 

in the Name Of the Unknown Father of all Things, and L ^- *• c„i8.. 
of Truth the Mother of all, and in him who defended upon 
jfefus, for Union and Redemption , and for the Communion of 
Vowtrs and Vertues. Baptifm with thofe Worde was cer- 
tainly no Baptifm. It feems likewife., that fince the 
Paultani/ts are excepted in the Canon of the Council 
of Nice againft Re-baptizing, that the Form of Bap- 
tifm was altered by them. I have all this while neg- 
lected to anfwer this Objection, but I thought I 
owed you this clear Account of that Matter. 

I confefs, I am grieved to fee a Spirit rifing and 
like to prevail among us, of going off from the 
Grounds on which the Reformation was carried on 
and eftablifhed. In many there feems to be a Willing- 
nefs to draw near to Popery, and to think well of it. 
As for Perfonal Charity to Vapifis, I thank God my 
Heart is full of it. I have known, and have particu- 
larly loved many good Men among them: But I can 
never enough exprefs my Abhorrence of the Spirit 
that prevails among them, of the Corruptions of their 
Wormip, of the monftrous Abufe of Confeffion and 
AJbfolution, of the deteftable Venality of all Things 
at Rome, and of the intolerable Tyranny of that 
Court. It is- a vain Thing to think Matters among 
them can ever be reformed by themfelves. Thefe 
are airy Speculations, to which the Conduct of the 
Council of Trent ought to have put -an end 1 50 Year 

A Voluminous Author, who has lately pretended 
to- have written our EccUfiaftlcal Hiftory, feems to have 
carried one Defign in his Mind, from the Beginning 
to the End of his 2d. Vol. (I have not read his firft) 
to foften and excufe the Corruptions of Topery, and to 
njajgravate the Conduct, and to blacken all the Steps 
of our Reformers, leaving heavy Imputations both on 
K. Edward and Q. Elizabeth, charging the laft,/as 
having done more Mifchief to our Church than her Si- 
fter Queen Mary had done, foftening even Tho Becket's 
Behaviour with this. mild -Cenfure, That his Condutt 
Wis not altogether defenfible. But 

6^ >4 Charge given 

But while I call upon you to be oft your Guard 
againft Popery, to ftudy thofe Controverfies, and to 
watch againft the Pra&ices of their Miffionaries, as 
the moft adlive, the beft fupported, and the moft dan- 
gerous of all our Enemies ^ I muft likewife in the 
moft folemn manner, and with all the Authority that 
belongs to the Character I bear, charge you to ftudy 
to maintain the Foundation of all, the Belief of the 
Chriftian Religion, againft the prophane Tribe of 
thofe who call themfelves Free Thinkers : We have ma- 
ny noble Apologies fet out for the Truth ofourReli- 
gion,which you ought to carry ever in your Thoughts, 
that fo you may be well prepared and furnilhed when 
you meet with any of thofe Libertines. But to thofe 
excellent Writings, in which the Boilean Lecture fur- 
nifhes us with new ones every Year, let us all take 
care to add one Argument, which is the peculiar 
Glory of the Primitive Apologies. Let us ftudy to 
live fo, that we may appeal to the Lives of Chriftians 
for the Truth of their Religion. 

For the Myfteries of it, let us maintain thofe in the 
Simplicity in which theScriptures have delivered them 
to us ; being neither beaten out of them by the vain 
Attempts of Philofophy,nor the falfe Subtilties of Cri- 
ticifm, nor carried into pretended Explanations of 
what we muft confefs is above and beyond our Reach : 
Receiving what God is pleafed to reveal to us, and be- 
lieving it in the natural and plain Senfe that the Words 
muft bear, becaufe it comes from Men Authorifed in 
the Name of God to deliver it to us ; and let us avoid 
all Contention and needlefs Curiofities in thofe Mat- 

Thofe who divide from us in Worfliip, ought not to 
be forgot by us ; we ought to infufe in them a deep 
Senfe of their Obligation, to maintain an Union 
with the Body, as long as the Body is united to the 
Head: and that therefore nothing can excufethe rend- 
ing the Body, but the being forced to do fomething 
that feparates us from Chrift, I mean fome unlawful 


at the Vijitation of Salisbury. 6^ 

Thing. This is the only Meafure that cm be Cct, to the 
Duty of living in Communion with the Body of the 
Chriftians, among whom we are mixed : And as this 
Duty does certainly lie clofe to us, lb the ill Effecls of 
many Men's departing from it are fo eminent and vifible, 
that we ought to ufe our beft Endeavours to overcome the 
PrejudiceSjandanfwertheObje&ions of thofe who divide 
from us. In which we may hope to fucceed, if we do not 
ipoil a good Caufe in the Management: Shewing no 
Unealinefs at the Favour they have by the Law., not en- 
vying the Liberty given them., nor watching Occafi- 
ons to deprive them of it : We do not know how foon 
fuch Things may come to our own Door, and not mix- 
ing Wrath or Railing with Argument, but in imeknefs 
infit lifting thofe that oppofe t he wj elves, (or as the Word 
is) thofe that form themfelves in an Oppofition to us, 
not being overcome of Evil, but overcoming Evil with Good. 

Therefore watch and remember, that for the fpace of three Ver. \u 
Tears I ceafed not to warn every one night and day withTears. 

After St. Paul had given them Warning of what they 
were to look for, both from without and from among 
themfelves, he charged them thus, they ought to watch, 
to guard againft, and to prevent all the Beginnings of 
Evil ; the Importance of this is, That they ought to 
be quiet in their Station, to avoid the giving any juft 
Offence to thofe among whom, and under whom 
they lived ; to be fo cautious and prudent, as well as 
innocent, that by no rafh or ill Conduct of theirs, 
they might give Advantages to thofe who would be care- 
ful to obferveand to improve them. Perfecution, when- 
foever it comes,will be heavy enough, and will notwant 
fo great an Aggravation as this, that we have drawn it 
upon ourfelves.Thcy are alfo charged to watch againft 
all the Beginnings of Errours, and Rents among them ; 
to try, if Differences mould happen to arife, how they 
might be compofed before they broke out into a Flame ; 
Leaving to all Men a juft Freedom in fuch Matters as 
are not the Foundation of our Faith, or neceflary 
Truths ; Impofing nothing beyond what is revealed, 
I or 

66 ^ Charge given 

or what is conducing to advance the great Ends of 
Order, Charity, and Edification : Judging as charita- 
bly as we can of thofe who differ from us, as we find 
St. Paul and the other Apoftles did in the great and 
moft important Cotroverfie of that Age, concerning 
the Mofaical Obfervances. 

To this St. Paul adds Words in which we may fee 
a kiting Pattern for us to copy after. He bids them 
remember that for the Space of three Tears he ceafed not to 
warn every one Night and Day with Tears. This was a 
large Portion of his Time that he had beftowed on 
this Church or this Province. He made the Conduct- 
ing them his Work, in which he continued unwea- 
ried, plying them at all Times, and that with a warm 
and affe&ionate Tendernefs that appeared both in his 
Labours, and in his Tears. 

Let us refied on this, and bring it home to our own 
Hearts : Are we inftant in our Duty ? Does it lie on 
us, and melt us down into Companion fo*r the Souls 
of our People ? Do we follow them in the prudenteft 
Manner we can, to fee if we can refcue them out of 
any Snare in which they may be caught ? Do we pray 
for a Bleffing on our Endeavours ? Do we mourn over 
the Sins of our People before God, and wreftle with 
him in our moft earned Interceffions for them ? Hap- 
py we ! if, when we look back on the Courfe of 
our Labours for many Years, we find this Comfort 
in our Minds that we have in a fincere, though low 
Degree, followed this Great Apoftle ; and made 
Confcience of difcharging the Truft committed to us. 
Oh ! what Matter of Shame and Humiliation mult we 
find in our felves, when we look back and fee how 
formal and fuperficial, how cold, or luke-warm at 
beft, if not quite negligent and remifs, we have been 
in our Duty. If we do not fee Caufe to charge our 
felves with great Commiffions ; yet Oh ! what a Load 
of Omiflions will we feel preffing us down to the 
Ground : If we meafure our Duty from what is here 
fet before us, and compare it with our very defective 
Practice ? For this I defire to humble my felf, and call 

at the Vi fixation of Salisbury. 67 

on you all to joyn with me in a deep Humiliation be- 
fore God : And Oh ! that we may be awakened to 
redeem the Time, for certainly the Days are evil. 

I have now led you in a Thread of Meditations 
through all St. Paul's laft Farewell, till I have brought 
you to the Words of my Text, on which having en- 
larged {o much in my Sermon I will add nothing 
further on them. 

I have coveted no Mans Gold, er Silver, or Apparel, yea ver.%\ 34 9<- 
your [elves know that thefe Hands have mini (I ere d unto my 
Necessities, and to them that were with me. 

I have fliewedyou all thing's } how that fo labouring ye ought 
tofupport the Weak. 

bt. Paul affirms he had coveted none of their Wealth : 
He would not make the Gofpel chargeable to young 
Beginners, nor furnifh them with Prejudices againft 
him on that Account. As he had done among the 
Corinthians , fo alfo among the Ephejlans he avoided the 
being chargeable to any of them. He was contented 
with a bare Supply of Necefficy ; indulging neither 
Vanity 3 nor Luxury ; and though he had a Right to 
demand this of them, yet he chofe rather in the In- 
tervals of his fpiritual Labours, to apply himfelf 
to fuch bodily Labour as might procure to him, 
and to thofe who went along with him, that 
which might anfwer the Demands of Nature, which 
are eafily fatisfied. If by the Providence of God we 
mould be driven to a State of Perfecution, we fee in 
this how we ought to govern our felves. There are 
few things that look worfe in Clergymen, give a 
worfe Cruirader of them, and defeat their Labours 
more effectually than fordid or griping Covetoufnefs : 
The very Appearances of it ought to be carefully 

It is true where Chriftian Kingdoms and States 
have fet off Provifions for thofe who labour in this 
Work, they may very lawfully take, and even demand 
it. For this they owe their Thanks only to God, and 
to the Legiflators ; And certainly it is a much wifer 


68 ^Charge given, &c. 

Way to affert our Right on the Bottom of Law, 
which hers cannot be difputed, than to run into a 
remoter and more doubtful Argument of the Divine 
Right ofTythes : In this we are fure we have both Law 
andjuftice on our Side. Where the Provifion is too 
narrow, as alafs it is in many Places, there the honed 
Induftry of a Clergyman has a Warrant from St. Paul's 
Practice, as he was in all things an Example to us, 
chiefly in fupporting the Weak, and relieving the Poor, for 
which he quotes a Word of our blerfed Saviour's, that 
lived in the Memory of his Difciples, though it is not 
recorded in the Gofpels. It is more blejfed to give than 
to receive, the one makes us liker God : But as the 
-Charity of the Rich in giving ; and the Humility of 
the Poor in receiving Alms, are both acceptable to 
God, fo in thefe Cafes God accepts the Will for the 
Deed: He who has a bountiful Heart, and but a nar- 
row Fortune, is accepted of God, not according to 
what he can give, but according to what he would 
give if his Plenty were as great as his Charity. 

I have now gone over this Noble Speech v/ith you, 
my Brethren, as I often do it by my felf. I know 
no Part of the Writings of the Apoftles more ufeful 
and inftruciing, both to awaken in us the Senf'e of 
our Duty, and to lead us to juil Reflections on what 
is pafs'd, and to the comfortable Profpeft of what 
may be before us. 

God grant that You and I, and all of us, may fo 
enter into our own Confciences, and fo carefully at- 
tend to thefe Words, that they may abide in tis, and we 
may abide in them, following the Pattern here let before 
us: And that both You and I may do this, I commend 
you Brethren to God, and to the Word of his Grace, which is 
able to build you up, and to give you an Inheritance among all 
them that are fanclified : To this I commend my felf, as 
■well .as You all. Amen.